Lebanese Scouts provide urgent disaster relief services following Beirut explosion
The devastating explosion that took place at the Beirut port in August 2020 caused considerable damage to the capital city, sending an earthquake wave across the country. The sudden event prompted the Lebanese Scouting Federation to acknowledge that Lebanese Scouts must be equipped to organise an efficient disaster relief response in order to address the consequences of this explosion and offer support to the thousands of affected individuals and families.
As a result, with the support of a WOSM Services Consultant, the federation developed a humanitarian aid vision and a plan to form an Emergency Response Team who would be trained to intervene and support future disaster relief efforts in the country.
The Emergency Response Team (ERT) included Scout Leaders, volunteers and members who have specific qualifications and are willing to serve the community. This group formed several departments, depending on their skill set and expertise, ranging from statistical and medical teams to psychological support, relief and restoration. The ERT’s key areas of focus were on distributing in-kind and logistical support to the affected populations, helping with clean-up actions, developing a database of damaged homes to provide assistance and of injured people in need of medical help, as well as providing psychological support for victims.
“The big bet was on the speed of response in various aspects of relief, psychological support, in-kind assistance, restoration work and others, as we were in a race against time and in front of a great challenge. I am glad that we were able to mobilize our Scouts and contribute to the relief efforts by employing good management, organization skills and discipline,” shared Saiid Maaliki, the Secretary General, and Faiza Kanbar, the General Commissioner of the Lebanese Scout Association.
This plan also included the development of a communications strategy to approach partners and donors to support the humanitarian response efforts. It provided a space to conduct training sessions for National Scout Associations to strengthen emergency response skills, draft efficient emergency plans, identify important stakeholders for potential partnerships, distribute tasks among teams and to make the best use of the available resources.
As an outcome, the service mobilised 5000 Scouts organised in groups of 50 people, who were allocated to the above-mentioned teams and activities. The Lebanese Scouting Federation has positively evaluated the support received through the WOSM Services, stressing the importance of correct resource management.
The WOSM Services is a platform that offers support to all 172 National Scout Organizations to strengthen their ability to deliver better Scouting activities and programmes to more young people worldwide. Through e-learnings, helpful resources, toolkits and in-person consultants, National Scout Organizations can access the platform at anytime and find the support they need in any area including Safe from Harm, Youth Programme, Communications, Humanitarian Action and more.