(This page was originally created on 8/20/21, and will be continually updated.)
It’s been a difficult week. In Afghanistan, the Taliban has taken control of the country, creating a refugee crisis where the most vulnerable have no way out. In Haiti, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake has caused terrible devastation and claimed over 1,300 lives. In Lebanon, the impact of the blast that rocked the Beirut port one year ago along with Covid and economic and political crises have left the people without fuel, electricity, food and medicine, struggling to survive. In response, we’ve put together some resources to support these countries and their diasporas, which include many of our beloved colleagues in the theatre community.
Playwright/performer/facilitator Leila Buck passed on the following resources from Lebanese friends, family, colleagues, doctors and activists who named these as some of the most effective organizations on the ground right now:
- Lebanonneeds.org- a team of healthcare professionals in Beirut and internationally providing healthcare, housing and food to underserved communities across Lebanon.
- Food Blessed – feeding the hungry in Lebanon’s most impacted communities
- Beit El Baraka – providing food, home repair, and other resources to retired Lebanese, prior to the blast and beyond.
- Lebanese Red Cross – hospitals are on the brink of closing and medical support is badly needed
- Lebanese Food Bank – feeding the hungry across the country.
- Embrace Lebanon – mental health support for all Lebanese regardless of income.
- Skoun.org – Lebanon’s addiction recovery and treatment center.
- Helem – the first LGBTQ+ rights org in the Arab world. This fundraiser from last summer appears to still be active for LGBTQ+ communities in Beirut.
- There is also this resource list compiled in the wake of the August 2020 blast.
If you feel comfortable supporting Lebanese individuals directly, Leila is also collecting donations to support multiple loved ones impacted by the crisis in Beirut. As she writes:
“Because banks will not allow funds to be withdrawn beyond small amounts with high fees at set intervals, people who have savings and income are not able to access their money. And because of the various crises, the cost of basic needs has skyrocketed, so whatever they can withdraw is only a fraction of what is needed to survive. In this broken system, the most reliable economic support is what they call ‘fresh money’ – foreign currency sent from outside the country directly to specific, separate accounts created for that purpose which are not subject to the withdrawal restrictions and exorbitant fees imposed on domestic bank accounts, or the fees on NGOs*.
You can send a donation via Leila through her Paypal or Venmo (Leila-Buck), or email her at email@example.com for more information, including ways to help without giving money.
We know that these are not the only places in the world experiencing intense violence, deprivation, or struggle. We know that the U.S. also experiences these things, and, as a colonial country, has caused and contributed to the suffering in these countries and elsewhere. We welcome additions to the lists above, as well as other regions and diasporas that could use immediate support. Our responsibility as a global theatre ecology requires us to offer care, collaboration, and solidarity across borders. Click here to learn more about TCG’s international work.
Finally, we offer our thanks to Leila Buck, Rachael Hip-Flores, and Corinna Schulenburg for collecting these resources. Please email Corinna if you have any more to add, or if you’d like us to add a region/diaspora to this global solidarity and support webpage.
Teresa Eyring, Executive Director & CEO || Adrian Budhu, Deputy Director & COO