Dar Al Amal aims to be a house of hope as its name implies for the underprivileged in Lebanon, working since its establishment in in 1970 on safeguarding women’s and children’s rights.
Dar Al Amal is funded entirely through grants, donations and fundraising events. It welcomes women who are subject to forced prostitution, violence and mistreatment, social marginalisation and exclusion, or are in conflict with the law. It supports them to re-establish their dignity and prepares them for social reintegration after providing them with opportunities for skills development and psychological support.
It also takes care of children living in difficult familial and social life conditions, and supports them to achieve their life dreams and goals while trying to save them from forced child labour and sexual exploitation.
Dar Al Amal helps hundreds of beneficiaries each year. Children at risk come from poor and dislocated families living in extremely harsh conditions. They are helped to develop a life vision and project. The work includes interactive plays, and involves parents and communities to achieve positive changes in their environments.
Two prevention and protection centres help children at risk in Nabaa and Sabra, two underprivileged suburbs where poor Lebanese and refugees live. Summer camps provide opportunities to empower children and entertain them as well. Several programs are implemented to fight forced child labor.
The "Parents Deal" programme aims to establish a mutually supportive environment for parents and caregivers to address the challenges they face bringing up their children. Parents and caregivers can improve their knowledge of child development and well being, find solutions together for challenges they face, and enhance their ability to care for their children in a practical and relevant way.
The women and young girls who are victims of violence live in equally hard situations. They are offered support and help in order to achieve social rehabilitation. Others are saved from forced prostitution and guided to find counselling and a decent living. They enroll in literacy sessions and receive legal assistance, medical and psychological support, and vocational training. They are all welcome at a social rehabilitation centre in Sin El Fil.
Dar Al Amal also supports social rehabilitation and reintegration work with imprisoned women and those released from the three women prisons in Baabda, Tripoli and Zahle. It works with lawyers and legal associations on amending some laws to make the lives of inmates easier when back in society. It sometimes pays the bills of women and follows them after release in the rehabilitation centre, co-operates with authorities on providing better food and health care for prisoners as well as children living with imprisoned mothers. It also works with other organizations to fight human trafficking and early forced marriages for girls.
Behind bars, prisoners get certified training on decoration, waitressing, hairstyling and beauty techniques that would help them find a job once free again. They also receive information on their rights as inmates and women that might be facing gender based violence. Occasionally Dar Al Amal, with the help of the municipality of Zahle, organises income generating exhibitions of handmade products of inmates. Similar events are held in Beirut during the wholly month of Ramadan.
In coordination with authorities, Dar Al Amal introduced The Prison Yoga sessions to bring mindfulness, meditation, and physical release to 45 prisoners in Baabda prison.
One of the success stories of Dar Al Amal is that of Hanaa. She was a young prisoner in Baabda facility. She was helped to study and apply for the official exams to get a high school certificate. It was an unusual surrounding to study and perform exams, inside a cell, yet she succeeded and then she enrolled in the Lebanese University. and she planned to have a degree when it is time for her to end her term.