In 2013, I traveled to Lebanon to tell the story of the Syrian refugee crisis as a documentary. Six years later, I’ve remained because I fell in love with a community and a cause. The Syrian Civil War, which still rages on today, has displaced millions of families. Due to a shared border, many fled to Lebanon in search of safety, hope and a future. While some of these families have been able to escape war, daily conflict remains in the form of assimilating into a new culture, obtaining a job and regaining empowerment.
In 2015, I founded the Sadalsuud Foundation (www.sadalsuudfoundation.org), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization registered in the U.S. These last several years, Sadalsuud has served the Tripoli community and takes a common-sense approach in bringing people from different backgrounds together to educate, develop marketable skills and to empower women and children. Sadalsuud conducts community building through two programs.
Educating a Future Generation
Education has been at the heart of Sadalsuud's activities from the beginning. Since opening, we have welcomed over 150 children into our classrooms to take part in programs centered around Arabic literacy, critical thinking, team building and the social and emotional aspects of learning. In September 2019 we will be launching a new program focused on educating 60 adolescent girls. These courses will provide critical life skills lessons, training in the prevention of gender-based violence and an introduction to the healing art of playback theater.
Baking to Heal a Community
Since early 2017, Sadalsuud has also operated a bakery. In addition to crafting beautiful and wholesome bread that feeds our community, baking serves as a beautiful analogy for the mixing, dedication and patience that is required to nuture a harmonious relationship. But baking also has inherent power, as we've literally seen it break down walls of discrimination and isolation, while also heal trauma and serve our community. For the past two years, we have been able to employ two wonderful Syrian and Lebanese women, Obaida and Dunia. Their story (see video above) is a beautiful example of our mission in action - a mission that we hope to now bring to a larger scale.
Our Goal and You
This fundraiser’s objective is to expand our bakery to the larger market of Beirut. In doing so, we will grow our production, extend jobs to even more women and then use the bakery profits to fund the school back in Tripoli. In fact, this bakery is the key component in our quest to become a self-sustaining organization. By donating to fund this bakery, you will enable us to continue to serve refugee and host community children for years to come.
Your donation today is tax deductible and will be used to strategically build out a bakery space, buy equipment and fund our workers like Obaida and Dunia. We invite you to watch their inspiring story in our video, to see how empowerment and social inclusion can come from opportunity and purpose. Your generous donation of any size will go directly to the launch of our bakery and expansion of our mission. We invite you to share this page and follow us on Instagram @sadalsuudfoundation.
We can’t wait to share updates with you along the way!
Founder and Director, Sadalsuud Foundation
Special thanks to Mashrou Leila for use of their song, Sadalsuud.