Bar Elias is a town located in the Bekaa Valley, which today is home to the largest concentration of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Today, there are almost 400,000 individuals registered with UNHCR. The majority of the refugee community live in makeshift tents, or in poor and overcrowded urban areas, and are suffering from poor living conditions, lack of job opportunities, and educational and social exclusion, in addition to increasing costs of living.
It was at the end of 2013 that Basmeh and Zeitooneh extended its programs to cover the Bekaa region, running recreational activities for children, and relief distributions for the most vulnerable families. In April 2014, we established a community center in Bar Elias, in order to provide a focal point to the marginalized communities residing there, and provide services to the most vulnerable individuals. Today, the center has built up a strong series of programs in the area, providing women, men and young people with access to vital sources of support and opportunities for self-development.