Olive Branch Community Center in Beirut

Olive Branch Community Centre is a non-profit project located in Beirut with a mission to provide a community centre where people can feel a sense of belonging, connect with one another and work towards common goals. The centre is positioned on the border between Sin El Fil and Nabaa neighbourhoods, in an area that oftentimes is affected by tensions, prejudice, discrimination and violence. Our goal is to meet this need and provide a space free from discrimination on the basis of religion, gender, age, nationality or any other. Our approach is based on active engagement, input and involvement of the local communities to understand and identity actual needs and determine how we grow within our centre, as friends and family and as a community. Through different programmes and activities, we provide and promote a forum for communities to participate in decisions that affect their own lives.

Olive Branch started in June 2022 as a pilot project and became fully operational in October 2022. Activities at the community centre include education, vocational and social programmes, aid distribution, community-building activities, safe and open space. Specifically we offer:

  • English as a Second Language classes: for adults and teenagers, taught in small groups of 10-12 students by international volunteer teachers;
  • Vocational training: specifically, digital literacy and computer courses aimed at enhancing employability, taught by a trained specialist;
  • MHPSS activities: in collaboration with the local NGO Al Najat, which offers groups and individual psychotherapy sessions led by trained psychologists;
  • Art sessions: for teenagers;
  • Community events: including community dinners, film and game nights, which are joined by all students and friends of the community centre;
  • Distribution of clothes and basic necessities;
  • Open space: where people can hang out and socialise;