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Armenian Educational Benevolent Union (A.E.B.U.) - Lebanon

A.E.B.U. Emblem

I. Organization:
The Armenian Educational Benevolent Union (A.E.B.U.) was founded in Beirut, Lebanon and licensed by the Lebanese Government Decree No. 721 dated 22nd December 1969. The A.E.B.U. Lebanon Program is supervised by an elected regional committee. Regional committees are also founded in different countries outside Lebanon.

II. Goals and Objectives:
The A.E.B.U. Lebanon is a voluntary, non-profitable, benevolent organization. Its main objectives are:

Education: offer education to the underprivileged children through Sahakian Levon Meguerditchian College.

Health and Social Care: assist to the welfare and development of the poor and needy without regard to geographical or confessional affiliation. These objectives are achieved through A.E.B.U. Socio-Medical Centers and dispensaries.

Education - History and Background:
Sahakian Levon Meguerditchian College, founded in 1922, was the first Armenian school in Lebanon. The old building of the College had to endure the rigors of rain and heat under a tin roof. In 1969 A.E.B.U. undertook fundraising activities to construct a new building to replace the old one. A land of 5738 square meter was bought in Sil El Fil and a four-storey building was erected. The building consists of sunny classrooms, laboratories, Armen and Persape Jerejian Assembly Hall, Roupen Sevag Library, a basketball court and a football court. Besides this building another floor building is constructed for kindergarten, Peniamin Jamgochian Modern Kindergarten, with all facilities.

The College is English oriented and follows the curriculum assigned by the Lebanese government. It also teaches Armenian language, literature, and history. The extracurricular activities of the College encourage students to become exemplary citizens. The annual tuition fees of the College are one of the lowest among the Lebanese private schools.

The graduates of Sahakian College have prospered in different fields: engineering, industry, business, medicine, literature, politics etc.

Auxiliary committees, Trustees, Alumni, and Parents, help morally and financially to the success of the College.

Health Care:
In 1988, A.E.B.U. founded its first medico-social center in Beirut, Nahr (Hadjin) region. It consisted of three small rooms. In 1994, it was transferred to a new premise, in the same area. This location has an area of 250 square meters and consists of a reception room, two examination rooms, a pharmacy, two dental dispensaries (donated by USAID, Pontifical Mission, World Vision and CRS), an ophthalmologic clinic, a physiotherapy room, and a conference room.

In 1995, A.E.B.U. founded a dental dispensary in Rawda, Metn, in Ehlan Center.

In 1997, A.E.B.U. founded another dispensary in Sin-El-Fil, Metn. It operates through an apartment of 3 rooms. This dispensary offers medical and dental services.

At present 9 dentists and 21 doctors of different specialties (cardiologist, gynecologist, pediatrician, generalist, orthopedist, gastro-enterologist, physiotherapist, ophthalmologist, endocrinologist) are serving in the medical centers. The physicians serve voluntarily.

The three medical centers are located in densely populated areas, inhabited by modest people. They charge symbolic fees for consultation or medical examination. More than 1800 patients get medical assistance in a month. The services are given to all that are needy without any discrimination.

The medical centers cooperate with the Ministry of Health in its health and vaccination programs.

The doctors and the dentists of the medical centers visit different schools every year and perform free medical and dental examinations. If needed, the students can be treated in the medical centers without any payment.

Social Assistance:
A.E.B.U. assists the needy in the following social areas:

Hospital arrangements for patients needing surgery
Sheltering patients with nervous disturbances in appropriate hospitals
Assisting patients in laboratory and X-ray procedures
Sheltering the aged in special institutions
Distributing food rations to needy families
Distributing food rations and blankets to the elderly on Christmas and Easter
Creating programs for taking care of children and the elderly
Organizing "preventive care" lectures.

A.E.B.U. maintains a close working relationship with other welfare organizations, such as UNICEF, Caritas, The Lebanese Red Cross and others. During 1988-1995, A.E.B.U. was an active member in The Earthquake Committee of Armenia.

A.E.B.U. has also organized social gatherings, charity dinners and balls.

III. Cultural Activities:
A.E.B.U. has created a women's auxiliary committee, "Friends of Art", that organizes cultural lectures, brunches, exhibitions, trips, and other cultural activities.

IV. A.E.B.U. During the Civil War:
A.E.B.U. has assisted the people during the civil war in Lebanon in the following ways:

Training people on First Aid programs in its medical center. The Lebanese Red Cross supported this project and the participants were given equivalent diplomas.
Digging a water well in Hadjin when the region was suffering from water deficiency. The water was distributed to the people.
Ambulance service was maintained during heavy bombardments to carry casualties to hospital.
Distributing food to the needy.
Distributing kitchen utensils to the needy.
Aiding in rebuilding damaged houses with the collaboration of different NGO's, such as CRS. In 1978. A.E.B.U. participated in the COMARES project in helping people renovate their houses.
Visiting and helping people in war shelters.

V. Funds:
Funds are raised through:

Membership fees
Personal donations
Fund raising activities
Embassies
Contributions from organizations for current programs or projects:
     Levon Meguerditchian Fund
     Catholic Relief Services
     USAID
     The Lebanese Red Cross
     Catholicosate of Cilicia
     Mary Chebeian (has bequeathed an apartment to A.E.B.U.)
     Executive Body of Social Democrat Hunchakian Party
     A.G.B.U.
     Kaloust Gulbenkian Foundation
     Armen and Persape Jerejian Foundation
     Hovhaness Chilingirian Fund
     Dedeyan Foundation
Yearly received funds:
     Levon Meguerditchian Fund
     Kaloust Gulbenkian Foundation
     Armen and Persape Jerejian Foundation
     Alumni Committee of Sahakian L. Meguerditchian College

VI. Conclusion:
A.E.B.U. has a mission to complete. A.E.B.U. believes in its mission and will do its best to meet the growing need of the deprived people to get proper education and health care. A.E.B.U. still depends upon concerned and compassionate organizations and individuals to provide its humanitarian services.

VII. Addresses:
     A.E.B.U. Lebanon
     Tel: 00961 3 669377
     Fax: 00961 4 922950
     Email: aebuleb@yahoo.com

     A.E.B.U. Hadjin Socio Medical Center
     Nahr St., New Hadjin, Medawar, Beirut, LEBANON
     Tel: 00961 1 560704

     A.E.B.U. Sahakian Levon Meguerditchian College
     P.O.Box 55368, Sin El Fil, LEBANON
     Tel: 00961 1 492726

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Copyrightę 2005 S.D.H.P. Australian Leadership