Spreading Christmas Joy and Magic for our Neighborhood’s Children

Berrad El Hay, in collaboration with chef and influencer Nicole Mrad, organized a remarkable Christmas campaign that made 400 children in Lebanon feel the spirit of Christmas. Chef Nicole partnered with influencers in the UAE to make this campaign a reality.

The driving force behind this campaign was simple yet powerful: for just $25, anyone could become the reason behind a child’s smile during Christmas. The goal was to sprinkle Christmas Magic by raising funds to provide a memorable and joyous holiday season for children in Lebanon.

Krystel El Adm Foundation (KEAF) offered special gifts for each sponsored child, Matelec contributed by providing a richly packed bag of goodies, and chef Nicole baked Christmas cookies ensuring that the children will have a memorable holiday.

Berrad El Hay also arranged an amazing Christmas theater show “Louna Snow Princess” at Athenee Jounieh Theater, adding a magical touch for the holy season.

Berrad El Hay’s effort alongside chef and influencer Nicole, and all the sponsors not only illuminated the holiday season for these 400 children, but also exemplified the profound impact that a heartwarming and collective act of kindness can have in spreading the magic of Christmas.

Give them the gift of Summer! Summer Camp 2023

The two weeks of our neighborhood summer camp were truly unforgettable! The children were bubbling with excitement from the very first day until the end.

From outdoor adventures to creative workshops, sports tournaments, and arts and crafts sessions, there was never a dull moment. The camp’s dedicated staff played a significant role in creating a warm and nurturing environment. Overall, our neighborhood summer camp provided an enriching experience for all the children involved. They not only had a blast but also learned valuable life skills, developed a deeper appreciation for nature, and made lasting memories.

View Summer Camp Video on Instagram.

Empowering Our Kitchen: A Catalyst for Combating Hunger and Community Resilience

As part of our Catalyst Fund for Relief and Response (CFRR) grant from the Lebanon Civic Action Accelerator Program (@LEBCAAP), which is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by @FHI360, we managed to upgrade our kitchen to improve our operations and keep combating hunger! 

We hope to always have the capacity to give back to our community that has given us so much. Let’s join forces to fight hunger and inspire a positive change in our communities.

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Nurturing Hope: Berrad El Hay’s Ongoing Effort to Feed Lebanese Schoolchildren

In response to the heart-wrenching struggle faced by Lebanese schoolchildren arriving at their classes on empty stomachs, Berrad El Hay is launching “Fill Their Lunchboxes” for the second consecutive year. This inspiring initiative aims to unite the community in providing weekly nourishing school meals to vulnerable children in neighborhoods across Lebanon.

The campaign was born out of concern for the growing number of Lebanese children going to school with empty lunch boxes or, worse, empty stomachs. Berrad El Hay, renowned for its dedication to social welfare and community development, decided to confront this pressing issue head-on. “Fill Their Lunchboxes” seeks to alleviate the suffering of these vulnerable children by ensuring they have access to nutritious school meals and healthy snacks during their school hours.

Last year’s encouraging success was a testament to the remarkable unity and generosity of the local community, with individuals, businesses, and volunteers coming together to support Berrad El Hay’s noble cause. With the support of our beloved campaign ambassador and advocate, Maman Chocolat (@maman_chocolat), we successfully provided around 33,100 lunch boxes to four schools during the 2022/2023 school year. Each week, children received a balanced meal, including sandwiches, fresh fruits, vegetables, snacks, and milk.

This year, we are more committed than ever to expanding the “Fill Their Lunchboxes” campaign, aiming to provide 66,000 lunchboxes to cover eight schools, effectively doubling last year’s impact. The compassionate Maman Chocolat ♥, along with other social media influencers, will rally support and donations from the community to ensure that no child in Lebanon goes to school on an empty stomach.

During these challenging times, this campaign serves as a heartwarming reminder that compassion and solidarity can profoundly impact the lives of those who need it most. Lebanon’s communities have shown that by coming together, they can nourish not only the bodies but also the hopes and dreams of their youngest members.

For those interested in contributing to the “Fill Their Lunchboxes” campaign or volunteering their time, please visit Berrad El Hay’s website at https://berradelhay.org/donation/ or contact Berrad El Hay at https://berradelhay.org/contact-us/ for more information on how to get involved.

Together, we can continue to make a positive impact on the lives of Lebanon’s future leaders.

The Inspiring Story of Berrad El Hay, Lebanon’s Community Fridge Initiative

Al Araby TV-2 hosted Mrs. Nayla Frem, founder and President of Berrad El Hay who shared the story of how Berrad El Hay started. Motivated by a deep sense of indignation towards societal inequities, she began distributing snacks and drinks to homeless individuals from her car. However, she soon realized the limitations of this approach and recognized the fundamental right of all individuals to consistent access to food.

Drawing inspiration from the community fridge concept that had gained popularity in Europe and the Americas, Mrs. Nayla launched Berrad El Hay in Lebanon in September 2018. The first fridge was placed at Mar Youhana Church Achrafieh in March 2018. Berrad El Hay began cooking at Mar Youhanna Church, feeding around 500 to 700 platters.

Mrs. Nayla Frem highlighted that Berrad El Hay impacted every neighborhood, particularly in light of the many crises that the Lebanese people are facing, including growing poverty that is affecting the community. Overall, the Al Araby TV interview provided a fascinating glimpse into the work of Berrad El Hay and the team behind it.

Watch the report to know more!

The Fridge With a Big Heart Making a difference in our neighborhoods

MTV Lebanon hosted Mrs. Nayla Frem, our President and founder on Saturday 15th of April 2023 to talk about Berrad El Hay initiative.

Mrs. Nayla said: “In 2017 I was really touched seeing people grabbing food from the garbage to eat and feed their families, so I decided to gather food in my car and distribute them to the homeless.”

She added: “Our first community fridge started in March 2019 to feed the neediest people, with a mission to reduce food waste.”

With a family spirit and dedication, Berrad El Hay team cooks heartwarming dishes from Monday to Friday to feed the beneficiaries.

Through Berrad El Hay, this initiative has been able to provide thousands of meals to people who would otherwise go hungry.

Watch the full video to know more!

Shedding the Light on Berrad El Hay’s Mission

LBCI, a Lebanese TV channel, visited Berrad El Hay central kitchen and spoke with our president and founder Nayla El Sayegh who talked about Berrad El Hay initiative for Christmas.

Berrad El Hay volunteers believed that they could make a difference and draw a smile on the face of more than 600 people and make them feel the spirit of Christmas.

Mrs. Nayla said, “I want each family to feel the true spirit of Christmas. We offered a Christmas dinner, which included a roasted turkey with rice and one “Bûche de Noël”.”

With love and joy, Berrad El Hay volunteers celebrated Christmas with the beneficiaries, prepared Christmas lunch, and decorated Saint John’s church in Ashrafieh.

Mrs. Nayla said, “Berrad El Hay initiative started in 2018, with a mission to reduce food waste. Back then, people used to come and put excessive food in our community fridges. The need increased, and today fighting hunger is the responsibility of each one of us. Everyone can donate just one meal which is enough to help each other’s”. 

Nowadays, excessive food is increasing especially during occasions. Amidst poverty and hunger, we are in deep need of such initiatives to make a difference.

Watch the full report >

Berrad El Hay Reviving Hope in our neighborhood

RLL Lebanon (Radio Liban Libre) hosted during their show “Fi Amal” our president and founder Mrs. Nayla El Sayegh who talked about the mission of Berrad El Hay. She said, “Berrad El Hay started in 2018 as an initiative anti-food waste, to share the extra food with people in need, in central fridges in Beirut and Jounieh. The number of people benefiting from the Fridge started to increase due to the Lebanese economic crisis, and the idea of Berrad El Hay has shifted from a food waste initiative to a community kitchen, cooking 600 to 800 meals feeding the people in need.“

From an individual initiative to a registered NGO, our beneficiaries do not just benefit from food, but also psychosocial, schooling, and various financial aids, which act as momentum for these people who lost their essential needs. The beneficiary can benefit from all the programs and activities happening at Berrad El Hay, such as support groups, entertaining activities, and medical campaigns. Our program is for around one year, except for old people and abandoned ones, after that, we try to find him a job opportunity at Berrad El Hay kitchen or through our partnerships, Mrs. Nayla explained.

When asked about funding, Mrs. Nayla said, “We have private donors, and we do fundraising campaigns on social media. The last campaign we did was for the lunch boxes, and we have now 3 schools benefiting from 700 lunch boxes for students. This program was fully funded using social media. Until now, Berrad El Hay does not have international donors.

We are now 15 people in the team and with no doubt, the circumstances are very difficult, sometimes we feel like we want to stop and surrender due to all the crises Lebanon is going through.”
Mrs. Nayla also explained about partnering with other organizations. “Since we cannot have a fridge in every neighborhood, we collaborated with trusted parishes and NGOs to reach a maximal number of households in need of food. Our program Meals on Wheels ensures that 200 meals are delivered to our partners, such as Arc-en-ciel, Lebanese Food Bank, Mouvement de la Jeunesse Orthodoxe, Dar El Amal, and other organizations. These organizations benefit from the hot meals and provide us in return with their services.“

The surrounding community and neighborhoods provide us with one-third of the cooked meals.
I believe that Lebanon is a country composed of small-united neighborhoods.

Listen to the full episode >