Fatqa and Sehaile, March 2020

The serious health crisis, due to the spread, worldwide, of the COVID-19 virus has also gave a stop to many activities of the project “Strengthening of prevention, rehabilitation and social and economic reintegration services for addicts and former addicts in Lebanon“, funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) and implemented by CTM, in partnership with the Lebanese Association Oum el Nour.

At the end of March, official data in Lebanon reported 400 infections and 8 deaths.

The lockdown imposed by the Lebanese government, to face the spread of the epidemic in the territory, forced the Oum El Nour association to close its offices and request its staff to work from home.

The two rehabilitation centers of Fatqa and Sehaile remain in fact open but the residents have to deal with the measures to contrast and contain the spread of the virus that interrupt periodic visits to the family.

Despite the restrictions and thanks to the availability of the educational and administrative staff of Oum El Nour, some of the activities within the centers continue and in particular agricultural and livestock activities.

The greenhouses of Fatqa and Sehaile enter the third production cycle which will shortly see the planting of cucumbers, a very important food in Lebanon and, for the first year, the cultivation of green beans and kohlrabi.

In the two terraces of Fatqa have been built the fences that make the four chicken coops, purchased from the project, operational, which currently host over 250 hens.

Goat breeding continues in the center of Sehaile. The arrival of a new male kid last week brings seven births in this new season and is certainly an excellent sign for the continuation of goat cheese production activities.

The current health crisis comes during Lebanon’s worst economic crisis in the past twenty years. Nonetheless, the staff of the centers and the residents continue to maintain a positive attitude also favored by the possibility of continuing their work with the land and with the animals.

A further confirmation that “the earth treats those who care for the earth”.