Visit SESOBEL-Lebanon

The name, SESOBEL, is an abbreviation from French-- Service Social pour le Bienetre de l'Enfant au Liban-- Social Service for the Well-Being of the Child in Lebanon.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the programs and activities at SESOBEL in Lebanon.  The link will take you to the SESOBEL-Lebanon website.  There will be a choice to read the website texts in either French or English.


History of SESOBEL

In 1975, at the very beginning of the 20-year Lebanese civil war, Yvonne Chami returned to Beirut after spending six years as a nurse in Vietnam working in very difficult conditions.
She accepted a position in the pediatric section of a hospital in Beirut and discovered a disturbing reality. Children were faced with disabilities that could have been prevented, their families were without support and were falling apart, and the country with its lack of resources was unable to provide a proper response to this serious situation. The raging crisis of war compounded issues of priority, produced a lack of assistance and offered little hope for disabled children and their families.  With friend, colleague, and co-founder Fadia Safi, they began the work of helping these children and their families despite the perils and war.  Such was the humble beginning of SESOBEL.
Yvonne always envisioned and brought to life the dream of: “Supporting disabled children, from birth until death, thus allowing them to lead a life of dignity, which in turn would bear witness and carry the message to others.”

Overview

SESOBEL's mission is to assist children suffering from mental and physical disabilities by improving their quality of life and supporting their families.  SESOBEL cares for approximately 400 children annually, and has helped thousands of families.  With over 34 years of experience, SESOBEL has a shining reputation of service in the region. 

Children from all regions, religious, and ethnic backgrounds are welcome.  Children are accepted at SESOBEL once their disability has been diagnosed, which can be as early as infancy.  The annual cost of caring for a child varies from $5,000 to $11,000 depending on their handicap and special needs.  Recently the government has provided 6% of the cost.  Family contributions cover about 13% of the costs, because nearly 80% of the children come from disadvantaged families.  Since SESOBEL's financial resources do not cover the total cost of care, the resulting deficit has to be supported by sponsorships, donations, and various fund-raising activities.

SESOBEL is a unique organization in Lebanon, whose primary mission is to address Autism, Down Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, and other disabilities.
A family focused and holistic approach is used to access and customize each child's needs and care.  SESOBEL's services are centered at a day-school and summer camp facility.  They have also developed a transportation system to facilitate the ability for the children to attend.  Over the years various sheltered workshops have been created to enhance skills and help support the school as well. Diagnostic, rehabilitative, therapeutic, medical, physiological, social, and academic  services are all part of their core program.  The staff utilizes the latest available methods of treatment and has links with international researchers.  SESOBEL believes it is very important to raise social awareness to change entrenched attitudes towards the disabled, to build respect for disabled individuals, to help others recognize the potential of the disabled, and to help educate care providers about the early detection of disabilities.  SESOBEL as a pioneering organization, has been in the forefront of this field, and will continue to shine as a success story.


The Ordinary Gesture is extraordinary!


(In French with English subtitles)