OutRight Launches Fund To Support “Helem” In Lebanon


OutRight Action International has launched a campaign to support Helem, Lebanon’s oldest LGBTIQ organization.

On Tuesday, 4 August 2020, a devastating explosion tore through Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, destroying entire neighborhoods, obliterating houses, killing over 200 people, and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless, unable to meet their basic needs. Helem is based less than half a mile from the epicenter of the explosion and suffered heavy damages as a result.

Helem is working to rebuild the LGBTIQ community center, while also struggling to support countless LGBTIQ people who have been affected by the explosion. Helem’s staff and volunteers are also engaging in city-wide relief efforts, but are lacking resources to do so.

Tarek Zeidan, Executive Director of Helem, comments:

“Helem’s staff and volunteers have joined the relief effort in Beirut and are working to remove debris, help set up community kitchens, and dispense emergency aid to members of the community who have been affected by the explosion. The blast has left more than 300,000 individuals homeless. These funds will go towards helping secure shelter as well as to support our food distribution program which has benefited more than 800 individuals to date.”

100% of all funds raised will be passed on to Helem to use for the support of the LGBTIQ community in Lebanon, the center’s relief efforts, and any other urgent needs on the ground resulting from this catastrophe.

Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International, comments:

“OutRight’s mission is to work with local LGBTIQ organizations around the world to promote LGBTIQ equality. When crisis strikes, it is our duty and honor to do what we can to support local activists. This fund will support Helem to recover and rebuild so they can resume their work toward achieving a more equitable future for all LGBTIQ people in Lebanon.”

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