“The whole of Lebanon seems to have jumped into action”

Aug. 18, 2020

War Child staff as clean up team to support the community
Beirut’s communities continue to work together as part of the ongoing relief operation following this month’s explosions. War Child researcher Felicity Brown was on the ground - and witnessed the legendary resilience of the Lebanese people first-hand. She shares her story here.

“I actually don’t remember where I was standing or what I was doing in the exact moment of the explosion - but obviously I was right where I needed to be at that moment to escape serious harm.”

“I was staying in an apartment close to the Beirut port - right in the line of the blast. It is severely damaged and can’t be lived in. I miraculously managed to get out with only minor cuts, a few requiring stitches.”

“I’m incredibly lucky. Many of the people living around me weren’t so lucky. One of my neighbours from the apartment building died and several friends and neighbours were badly injured. I’m aware of how lucky I am to have resources and support to take care of my immediate needs - many other people are still struggling and stranded.”

“The situation in Beirut is devastating - words really can’t do it justice. You can feel the immense grief, trauma, fear and anger everywhere. But at the same time, the compassion, kindness and selflessness of friends, colleagues, neighbours, and strangers is something I’ll never forget."
Felicity Brown - War Child researcher

“The whole of Lebanon seems to have jumped into action to support their community. Local and international NGOs worked to set up cleaning teams, first aid stations, food and clothing drives and other actions. In the wake of the blasts I was offered water, tissues, somewhere to sit and a phone charger from generous strangers.”

“When I returned to the apartment in the aftermath of the explosions, people nearby offered me everything I needed: food, water, hand sanitiser, face masks, help with cleaning and dressing my wounds. These are all things I will never forget.”

War Child employees distribute supplies to support the people of Beiroet after explosions

War Child staff in Lebanon distributing supplies to support the community.

War Child staff emergency aid in Beirut, Lebanon

There is no shortage of motivation to continue the cleanup sessions as part of the ongoing relief operations.

“There will be a long road to recovery for Beirut - particularly as this event hit the country after it had been suffering for months from a severe economic crisis."
Felicity Brown

“There is no shortage of motivation and ability on the ground. I just hope that everyone involved in the relief and recovery operation can take the time to look after themselves so that they are able to continue to help others - particularly once some of the adrenaline from the initial reaction eases.”

“I sincerely hope that the international community can provide the necessary finances and resources to support local efforts to rebuild and recover from such a horrific event.”