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Our History

 
     
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1- Awareness to handicapping

- The story of Days of Hope started in 1978 with the awareness of Miss Fadia Abou Dib of the presence of people living in Deir El Salib Hospital, far from their families and their links to their natural environment. Dreaming of helping those people, her ideas became crystallized in her mind while she was preparing for her master’s degree in psychology. .Moreover she contributed in founding with Jaqueline Awada “Faith and Light” Association in the parish of St-Joseph Antonins – Zahleh, to take care of the disabled people and their families from the spiritual side:

April 1980, and after the visit to Lebanon of Jean Vanier the founder of “Arch” in the world and the founder of “Faith and Light” Associations with Marie-Hélène Mathieu, Fadia was invited to visit the Arch in France.

 - June 16th,1980: The first founding committee consisted of Messrs. Anis Moussalem, Joseph Hakim, Jean Maalouf, Aghnie Tahtouh and Fadia Abou Dib, in the presence and the benediction of the Archbishops of Zahleh Aghostinos Farah, Georges Iskandar and Spiridon Khoury.

 - Between 1980 and 1982: Several trainings and visits to all the centers inside Lebanon and in Europe.

 - Between July and September 1982: Training sessions for sewing, decoration, floral art, Ballet, Dabké, in a house for young people, with the effort of the bishop Georges Iskandar, and under the name of “Artistic and Handicraft Center”,  as the essence of the beginning of the work with the disabled, then an artistic show was organized in the Oriental College, and the benefits were two thousand and three hundred seventy eight Lebanese Pounds (2 378 LL),  that have been saved until the beginning of the project in 23 April 1986.

 The name of the Association:

- Between September 1982 and October 1985: several trainings were made and a deep acquaintance, with the parents’ first necessities, was established, then came the first impression: we wish you could take our children even for two hours per day only, and our days will become days of hope”. That was the origin of the name of the Association pronounced by the father of one the children.

 2- Awareness of the parents and foundation of the Association

 December 1985: Long meetings were held with the parents, as they are the first concerned people. The first founding committee had been assigned consisting of Messrs. Fadia Abou Dib, Wahib Chalhoub as vice-president, Walid Nasrallah as counselor of the Association near the Government, Ghassan Salamani the treasurer, Jean Choukri Maalouf Medical advisor, Elie Layoun artistic counselor and Rabiha Sakhat the secretary.

 The foundation of the Association

-          April 23rd, 1986: The Association got the licence No 102/AD

-          April 1989: The pharmacist Sami Felfli was assigned as a substitute for Elie Ayoub who was obliged to travel and the founding committee stayed the same until February 1995.

-          Between July and September 1986: Work started at the girls’ secondary school in Rassieh with 18 children and 11 volunteers from the parents and the young people.

-          October 11th, 1986:  Then work continued in a deserted public school in Hoch-El-Omara and went on until June 30th 1990 with 25 children and 6 educators.

The Association dispensary

     -          March 31st, 1989: inauguration of the Association dispensary in the area of Saidet-Al-Najat by the bishop Andre Haddad

3- Mobilization of the local and international community:

-          September 14th, 1988: with the efforts of the bishop Spiridon Khoury, the International Council of Churches contributed with the amount of 44 thousand American Dollars, to start building on the plot of land offered to the Association in April 17th, 1988, by Gerious Kabalan and another donator from Zahleh. On this day, the foundation stone of the project was laid in the presence of the bishops of Zahleh.

-          October 1st, 1993: Continuation of work with 35 children and 10 educators in a house offered to us in the area of Saidet-Al-Najat above the dispensary in the same building.

-          August 28th, 1993: Signature of the agreement between the chargé d’affaires of the American Embassy Mr. Vincent Battle and Miss Fadia Abou Dib for the amount of 15 thousand American Dollars for the continuation of the first step of the project.

4- The phase of the major move to the specialized center

-          December 2nd, 1993: The children inaugurated their own new center and they were 45 with 12 educators, on a surface of 1 081 m2 as a first stage, in Dhour Zahleh.

-          May 20th, 1994: The first lady Mona Hraoui inaugurated in the presence of a number of personalities from the Bekaa the first stage of the project.

-          February 17th, 1995: The Association got the decree No 7121 for public utility

Belgian project:

-          August 18th, 1996: The Belgian chargé d’affaires, Mr. Bruno Vander Bloom inaugurated 7 workshops which have been equipped by the Belgian government through the SHC company represented by Mr. John Mayers. The Belgian contribution was estimated at 250 thousand dollars, provided that the Association raised 60 thousand dollars over two years. Our Belgian friends could raise 31 thousand dollars, with the efforts of Youssef Chebib and his wife Mrs. Edy Chebib, as well the support of Antonins Monastic Order represented by Father Nader Nader (this support never stopped since 1986).
Moreover, 19 thousand dollars have been raised from local donors, beside the donation of 10 thousand dollars from Mr. Fadi Samaha.
The Belgian government contributed with the following equipments: installation of 6 workshops, a bus for 43 persons, electric generator, equipments for audiometry and a laboratory of material for deaf people. Moreover, they sent a speech therapist and an occupational therapist for two years.

-          January 12th, 1997: The occupational therapist arrived from Belgium to train the local team in order to work with the children for two years within the program established by the Belgian government.

-          July 5th, 1997: The speech therapist arrived from Belgium to train the local team, and to take possession of a workshop for speech therapy and starting helping the deaf in the region

-          September 14th, 1996: Inauguration of Zeina Jreissati’s room for Physiotherapy during the mass of the 10th anniversary of the Association.

-          September 1st, 1997: “Nuns of Good Service” started getting involved in the internal management of the Association and under the benediction of the Bishop of Baalbeck Kirillos Selim Bustros.

Serving the deaf

-          September 1997: Work started with some deaf children, facilitated by the specialized equipments offered by the Belgian Government.

The second floor

-          From January 1st, 1999 to March 10th, 1999: The continuation of electrical wiring, heating and water installation on the 2nd floor with the contribution of the ILBS (Women Association in Japan) and the Parish Coordination Committee with the Trois Rois in Germany.

-          From June 1st, 1999 to December 31st 1999: Works of waterproofness, paintings and floor tiling and door installation started in the 2nd floor with the contribution of the engineer Dr. Selim Abou-Ezzi and Mr. Joseph Mehanna from the United States.

-          August 2000: Habilitation of the external gardens.

-          August 12th, 2000: Inauguration of the second floor under the patronage of the First Lady Mrs. Andrée Lahoud represented by Mrs. Khadige Chalak, wife of Minister Fadl Chalak. Many political, judicial, social and religious personalities attended the ceremony. The president of the L.A.A. (Lebanese American Association) Dr. Nasser Abou Khalil, his wife, friends of the Association in the United States attended the ceremony (Samir, Selim and Selwan Abou Ezzi and their families) and friends from Belgium as well.

-          June 19th, 2001: Mrs. Mona Hraoui wife of the Ex-President Elias Hraoui visited the center of the Association. A complete tour of the different offered services was organized. She was impressed by the educational system, as well as buildings and equipments and especially the good relation established between the management, the collaborators and the beneficiaries of the different services. She expressed her admiration by donating 11 thousand dollars for the heating systems in the 2nd floor, besides the amount of 6,5 thousand dollars offered by the friends of Belgium.

Serving the school failure

-          October 2nd, 2000: Start working with 5 of the children, between the ages of 6 and 9 years, who have problems of school failure.

-          From November 17th, 2000 to December 27th, 2000: Widen the wax workshop and habilitate it.

-          December 2nd, 2000: Starting the “early intervention” service to 6 of the children between the ages of 1 and 3 years.

School license

-          June 20th, 2001: The Association got the decree No 114/AD permitting to change the Association aims to spread the education by opening educational institutions.
Therefore, the Association aims are as follows:
1- Protection and Rehabilitation of the disabled by creating specialized institutions for them.
2- The development of the Man under all levels: bodily, psychological, social, ethical and cultural without any discrimination.
3- Collaboration with the concerning authorities in order to spread education by opening educational institutions conforming to rules and regulations in force, and after the approbation of the competent authorities.