• Heidi Michel

Education for handicapped people in Lebanon

Updated: Jul 4, 2018

With the help of Lebanon on Wheels

thus far, 13 residents of the Deir el Salib home currently receive special schooling. The home is the largest one run by the Soeurs de la Croix in Lebanon. The boys receive behavioural therapy which is helping to develop their skills and are provided with more joyful surroundings.

There is a private tutor for four of the children in addition to this. In an effort to focus on the children’s individual needs, he teaches Toufic, Abbas, Ahmad and Mikhael concentration and empathy.

The aim of this year’s Lebanon on Wheels is to secure the schooling that will be necessary for Toufic and his friends over the next 2 years.

In case we achieve this goal and we were to receive more funds than our initial goal we will use the finances to support the other educational programs of the Karim-Project.



Karim's mission is to bring concrete improvement to the daily lives of people with disabilities in Lebanon. This mission is carried out in four different ways:

  • Organizing and financing therapy programs for the disabled (incl. physio, psycho and ergo therapy).

  • Sending some of the disabled to schools that can help them learn and become autonomous through special educational programs.

  • Creating awareness through fundraising activities in Europe and in Lebanon

  • Development of measures for improvement of the lives of the disabled in close coordination with their homes


The living conditions of the disabled in Lebanon are much more precarious than those we are used to in Europe. The Lebanese government has limited public structures to support them and only supports partially the institutions that take care of them. People with disabilities in Lebanon are rarely integrated into society and with the missing support, their families are often not able to take care of them. Therefore, the majority live in asylums, many of which are run by religious orders that do their utmost, but are financially and personnel so poorly equipped that they can only care for the nutrition and physical care of their entrusted humans. The donations to pay for the cost of therapy, school programs and the necessary equipment are therefore essential.


In 1998, young German and Lebanese volunteers decided to provide some help to these disabled people by organizing holiday camps in Lebanon. Soon, they felt the need to do more than just a vacation for their protégés and have committed themselves to tangibly improve their lives for the rest of the year. They started the Karim-Project, which initially consisted in organizing and financing psychomotor- therapy sessions for the disabled people in their homes at the psychiatric hospitals.

The project took its name from Karim, a disabled young boy who was found near the garbage, from his posture it seemed that he was locked in a cage box that prevented him from growing properly and left him in need for lots of therapy, which was made possible by this project. In addition, his name Karim means "generous" in Arabic, hence the name of the project.


Today Karim-Project collects funds to support disabled children, women and men all year round with programs including physiotherapy, ergotherapy, psychomotricity and literacy done in their homes, and special education done in special schools.

Therapeutic measures significantly change the lives of children and adults and also relieve the nursing staff in their homes.

In close cooperation with the leading sisters, Karim also finances construction projects or new equipment in the homes, if these directly benefit the protégés .

The targeted financial support sustainably helps the people with physical and mental disabilities and contributes to improve the standards in their homes.


mobility | cognitive skills | social behaviour | body language | expressiveness | companionship | autonomy | activity | self control | strength | courage | creativity | friendship | joy & fun |

In numbers

Since it was found , Karim has grown significantly and now organizes, assists and funds:

  • physiotherapy for 38 girls and women in Chlifa

  • physiotherapy for 11 boys and men in St Dominique department

  • Literacy and craft classes for 22 girls and women in Deir el Qamar

  • special schooling for 13 boys and men from St Dominique.

  • special schooling for 4 girls and 4 men from the home of Antelias

  • projects to renovate premises in three different homes

  • several medical interventions for people with disabilities whose parents cannot take charge

  • specialized equipment for disabled people

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