The Step Together Association in North Beirut is the only center of anthroposophic curative education in Lebanon. Already struggling as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing political, economic and social crisis in the country, the Step Together community has now been hit – like its neighbors – by the devastating explosion that struck Beirut on Tuesday. The words included below are from a message by Dr. Reem Mouawad, Step Together’s director, and offer a glimpse of just how devastating this situation is.
Please join us in offering whatever support you can to the Step Together community. In addition to the inner support that Reem Mouawad is asking for, you can make a donation to our emergency support fund for the Step Together Association via Paypal by clicking on the button below. We will forward all funds directly to Step Together Association, for them to use in any ways necessary to address the needs created by this traumatic incident.
You can also contribute by direct bank transfer to one of our accounts, noting ‘Emergency Support Step Together’ as purpose of the transfer.
Message from Dr. Reem Mouawad, Director of Step Together Association:
I think you have heard about the disaster that happened in our dear Lebanon, particularly in Beirut. I am writing to inform you about our situation at Step Together. In fact, employees, families and students are deeply suffering physically and emotionally from the catastrophic situation on top of all the existing challenges.
This small country has been a victim for 30 years, victim of corruption, of politics, power, and greed. We survived wars, lack of basic needs, no electricity, no water, garbage everywhere! Seit Beginn der Unruhen im Oktober haben wir einen Weckruf erlebt. Wir haben gemerkt, dass die Politiker uns ausnutzen, und sie haben alles gestohlen, sie haben unser Geld auf den Banken gestohlen, sie haben unsere Träume, Ambitionen und unsere Hoffnung auf eine bessere Zukunft gestohlen.
The explosion of yesterday broke our hearts in the midst of COVID 19, corruption, economic crisis – how much shall we still endure? What is the destiny of this country? Those of us who didn’t die from the explosion nearly died from inside.
Everyone of us has a story of that moment. I was in Beirut, Achrafieh. I begged my sister to come over to visit our uncle. We were going to be in the car when the explosion happened. We were just on the stairways when the first explosion was heard, followed by a bigger one. Then all windows and doors shattered. Dust was everywhere. We looked around everything was destroyed. Thank God we were not injured, but most of our friends and loved ones are still in hospitals, unfortunately some also died and many are still missing.
After a long night of little sleep, I woke up in the morning and with the help of the social worker I started calling all our 180 parents and 85 employees. We cried together. They told me their stories and I told them mine. We prayed for justice and for a change. We prayed for all those who lost their lives.
I hope I managed to describe our situation. We will stay strong to help each other. Now we have almost 80 parents who need medication, food, support and shelter. We have 13 students living on campus in Step Together. Their parents live abroad and they couldn’t come to visit them this year due to all the circumstances.
We hope we can continue our mission at Step Together to support students, parents and employees with our friends from all over the world. We will stay strong and rebuild our courage. I will end with a verse by Rudolf Steiner:
And let us seek the awakening from within ourselves, every morning and every evening.»