The Olive Branch
Inclusive Community Hub
Opened in 2022, the Olive Branch is Salam LADC’s Beirut center, located between the diverse and disadvantaged neighborhoods of Sin El Fil and Nabaa. This inclusive community hub was established to address the lack of a safe public space, as expressed by local stakeholders. With tensions between refugee and host populations at an all-time high in Lebanon, the Olive Branch is is locally-led and actively fostering inter-community relationships and empowering over 150 individuals living in poverty. We encourage positive dialogue and relations through educational activities, psycotherapy support and an open social safe space. At The Olive Branch we welcome everyone, regardless of nationality, gender, or religion, to participate in our educational activities and social space. Our goal is to directly involve local residents in the center, to foster a sense of belonging, and create an active community where relationships can flourish despite religious and national differences.
English as a Second Language (ESL)
The Olive Branch offers a variety of educational activities, including English as a second language, Arabic literacy classes, and homework support.
Led by locals and supported by a team of international volunteers, these activities are free and unrestricted. A demonstration of the effectiveness of this endeavor is the recent proactive move towards organizing student-led classes, with the most advanced students dedicating one hour per week to this initiative.
Working in an area of Beirut with high levels of extreme poverty, these activities provide vital skills to local children, youth, and adults who face limited opportunities for formal education and training.
The Olive Branch was founded in response to the local stakeholders’ desire for a forum where frequently segregated communities can interact in a safe environment. To achieve this objective, the Olive Branch Social Space has implemented a variety of activities such as arts and crafts, cinema nights, talent shows, discussion sessions in english – Coffe&Chats, and community dinners. Led by local and international volunteers, these events have been immensely popular with local youth and adults.
In collaboration with a local NGO Al Najat Village, we offer individual and group therapy sessions to teenagers and adults, along with hosting workshops to address social issues such as bullying. We believe that an individual healing experience can lead to a better intercommunal understanding and a decrease in social tension.
Together with CG-Funds, we provide IT skill classes taught by a professional IT teacher. In a 12-week course, the community members are able to improve their proficiency in Microsoft Office and other soft skills, in order to increase their chances in the embattled Lebanese job market.
“What I like most about Olive Branch is that it's an open community where you can feel free and comfortable. It feels like a home for me. Olive Branch has a special touch in my life because it's the place where I found wonderful people with whom I made unforgettable memories.”Dlaza19 years old Kurdish girl from Syria.
“Olive branch is the reunion of people from different cultures that have something in common between them: learning English. At Olive Branch we meet new people from different countries and cultures who are not only teachers but also good friends. We build strong friendships and we learn from each other and feel comfortable with the diversity of people living in our country. I advise anyone who wants to improve their language skills to join the Olive Branch ”Ashraf27 years old lebanese man from Bekaa valley.