Salam LADC

Salam LADC was founded by Joseph Matta in South Lebanon as a response to the 2006 Lebanon War, and registered with the Ministry of the Interior as a non-profit association in 2009. Salam LADC’s primary aim is to strengthen dialogue and cooperation between the different communities living in Lebanon. Salam LADC focuses on sustainable projects that provide tools and expertise to local communities; youth, emergency response and environmental teams have been created and trained in municipalities across the country.

Beginning of Salam as an international volunteer platform:  

In January 2016, Martin Kvernbekk and Igor Kubat came to Lebanon, after having volunteered in Greece, Turkey and the Balkans for several months in relation to the large scale refugee migration into Europe. They came to Lebanon because they had realized how badly ongoing humanitarian assistance was needed in the countries neighboring Syria, and had had the idea of facilitating the arrival of international volunteers to assist the efforts. At the time, the concept of international volunteers working within Lebanon was relatively unknown. Martin and Igor began by initiating an online project to channel funds and awareness towards vulnerable communities in Lebanon. After a few weeks a close friend introduced them to Joseph Matta, Salam LADC’s director. As Salam LADC and the volunteer program had complimentary visions, Joseph, Martin and Igor joined forces, merging the two.

Six years later, more than 600 international volunteers have made the journey to Lebanon. Salam LADC now has five international supporting branches, and more than 20 local members of staff have been hired to ensure the quality and sustainability of the projects. With immense gratitude towards all the people who have taken part in the journey and work of Salam LADC so far, the goal of continuing to be able to support the most vulnerable populations and promote dialogue between communities still stands strong.

About Lebanon

Lebanon is one of the smallest countries in the world, bordered by Syria to the North and East, Israel/Palestine to the South and the Mediterranean Sea to the West. While small in area, the country has an incredibly varied demography, with an amazing diversity of religion, culture and nature. Unfortunately the country also has a tumultuous recent history; many regions have struggled to develop and prosper, and there is a highly uneven distribution of wealth. After a long civil war that ended in 1990 and multiple subsequent invasions from Israel, more than 1 million Lebanese people were already living below the poverty line before the Syrian refugee crisis began in 2011.

Today Lebanon is the country that hosts the highest number of refugees per capita in the world. The highest concentration of Syrian refugees in Lebanon are found in the Bekaa Valley, where Salam LADC is headquartered. 69% of all informal refugee settlements in Lebanon are located here in the Bekaa.