Amel Association is a Lebanese non-profit, non-sectarian organisation committed to human rights since 1979. One of its main objectives is to endorse and encourage a sense of belonging and citizenship in Lebanese and Arab communities. This sense stems from the maintenance of individual civil rights, and protection from all forms of discrimination based on colour, religion, or political affiliation and it is the first Lebanese NGO to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016.
It has currently 24 centers and 6 medical mobile units in the most underprivileged zones in Lebanon, in the Southern suberb of Beirut, Mount Lebanon, the Bekaa valley and South Lebanon. Amel has offered more than 8 million services to the people of Lebanon and other people within its borders (Iraqi, Sudanese, Palestinian, among others) since its creation in addition to 1.5 million services to Syrian refugees over the past years, in various fields including health, education, child protection and professional training. Amel advocates its vision based on justice and humanity, without discrimination related to political opinion or religion.
The association aims to meet the basic and urgent needs of marginalised groups by providing “a better service, for a lower cost” in executing health, educational, and social programmes. Then it seeks to move from service to development, through the involvement of people themselves in identifying their needs, and participating in the process of development and economic empowerment. At this point, the aim of spreading a culture of human rights is to make people more aware and conscious of their fundamental rights, especially children, women and people with special needs. For instance, it opened a showroom entitled Menna (from us) for more than 130 women, many of them are refugees, producing food and artisanal work. These project is their means for economic and social stability.
The organization works for gender equality at all public spheres. Amel's Gender Based Violence (GBV) team visits regularly renowned Advertising Agencies in Lebanon to discuss fighting Gender stereotypes in advertising commercials. They also use Playback theatre performances to fight gender stereotyping in media.
Amel Association empowers marginalized individuals to defend their rights better, which they hope will continue to foster a sense of belonging and citizenship among peoples. Amel has also worked on child protection projects in Beirut and the Bekaa valley, offering emergency response and psychological support to Syrian refugees, as well as working for the empowerment of migrant workers. Often exploited and discriminated, migrant domestic workers can find a safe space at Amel’s development center in Chiyah. There, together with assistance and protection, they find a place where they are respected and can pursue their passion through the classes and activities provided by the social workers in the center.
The "educational bus" visits informal refugees camps in the South and underpriviliged villages in the Bekaa. It also believes in the power of theatrical education and the rights of migrant workers to access the Lebanese educational system. Medical teams from the association tour regularly the refugees camps in Lebanon offering drugs, particularly those related to the treatment of pulmonary infections among children. One of the association's centers in Beirut working on empowerment of Syrian refugees was visited in May 2015 by German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
Amel’s Sports League is a project designed to empower young people, males and females, rather than simply be a sports project, in which refugees in Lebanon benefit from donated soccer equipment from Canada.
The association represented Lebanese NGOs at the international donors conference to help Syrian refugees and hosting communities in Kuwait in March 2015. It has become recognized internationally, and it believes coordination mechanisms with international donors should not become a sort of neo-colonialism.
With its experience of over 40 years in Lebanon, Amel became an International association on December 15, 2010 and was registered in the directory of international NGOs. The purpose was to share experiences around the world and to strengthen its collaborations with other international NGOs.
Thus Amel Association acquired the status of International association registered in Geneva.
This internalization’s objective is to reconnect, via friendly civil societies, the North and the South hemisphere with humanitarian objectives in order to work for the people’s interest and to take part in righteous causes targeting individuals while keeping distance with the programmed agendas that aims to divide people.
With this title Amel Association has placed many partnership projects with different associations from Egypt, Jordan, France, and Switzerland.
Amel Association, armed with the trust given to it by the local community, acquired its recognition from international institutions. In fact, it was granted in November 2017 an IOM Observer Status with the United Nations International Organization of Migration (IOM).