A large part of what we were taught as we were growing up was that being a part of a community you have to give back to it. The sense of community service was always ingrained into each of us, my brothers and me. There was always a cause that needed support, someone who needed assistance, an event that needed more hands and we would most often be a part of it.
In school we were required to log in hours towards our diplomas in order to graduate, an odd request but something that did not change the fact that we were already contributing towards society. Logging in the hours was a trifle thing. These days you can be a part of many NGOs that are targeted on several different projects.
You have KAFA that works to stop violence against women.
You have IQRA’A that works to help underprivileged children get a better education through relighting the spark for the love of reading.
You have NASAWIYA that works towards women’s rights.
You have GREENPEACE that works towards a better environment.
You have KUNHADI that works towards awareness and safety – Don’t Drink and Drive.
You have SESOBEL that works to assist disabled children lead better lives.
All are amazing NGOs you can dedicate your time to and there are several hundreds more out there. It is really all about giving back to the community you live in. It doesn’t require more than your time and dedication. It is good for the soul and for the benefit of those that need a hand.
For me, this year I dedicated my time to IQRA’A and am a part of TEDxBeirut. Some asked me why these specifically – my reasons are really very simple;
- Unlike the saying, I wasn’t born with a silver spoon. I was most likely born with a Dr. Seuss book in my hand. I believe reading is one of the most essential things any child needs to have and love. It is through reading that you can better yourself, regardless of you station.
- Inspiration. Nothing is created in this world without it. Like Newton and his apple, people need to be exposed to ideas and thoughts in order to stimulate their own. Granted Newton was physically exposed to his source of inspiration and I don’t think bludgering people would get their creative juices flowing….in the right direction that is.
So if you have an itch to do something, maybe you can dedicate your time to something that gives back to your community look for an NGO in your area that is working towards a cause you feel very strongly about. It always feels good to see smiles after a job well done.
The UNDP has also generously compiled the long list of all the NGOs that are in Lebanon. You can check it out here.