While humanitarian action in Beirut is in full swing after the two explosions that hit the city on 4 August, killing hundreds and displacing more than 300,000 people, even as COVID-19 cases rise, Lebanese youth have taken to the streets, masks on, providing food and assistance to those in need.
According to UN Women, Lama Najdi is still shaken by what she saw in the immediate aftermath of the Beirut blasts – bloody hand prints on the walls of a damaged building and complete devastation of life as she knew. Fortunately, on the afternoon of 4 August, she was in a neighbourhood further away from the port, where the explosions occurred.
The 17-year-old high school graduate is now volunteering with a hunger-relief organization, FoodBlessed. Working with others, she cooks 400 hot meals every day, which are handed out to those areas affected by the blasts. “The explosion has opened my eyes…giving back to my community is fulfilling and important to me,” says Najdi.
Lama Najdi poses for a photo. Photo: Dar Al-Musawir/Ramzi Haidar for UN Women