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Beit al-Yateem is a non-profit, social philanthropic institution for the public service. The Late Aref al-Nakadi established Beit al-Yateem in 1939 with the assistance of the Social Welfare Service. He provided one third of the necessary funds, the rest having been a bank loan for which he used his personal property as collateral.

As of today, Beit Al- Yateem has 1200 orphans and 150 teachers and employees.

Beit al-Yateem provides shelter, clothing, feeding and teaching the orphans and children in the category of socially difficult cases. This type of care covers children from one month old to twenty-one years of age.

The school consists of three divisions: The kindergarten, the Elementary and the Complementary. The Orphanage provides the children and staff with three meals a day as recommended by the World Health Organization. Living spaces consist of large dormitories. They are well lit, heated, ventilated and provided with simple but comfortable bedsteads and beddings, as well as, closed space for each individual. The dormitories are divided into two sections; one for boys and one for girls, and each of the sections are in turn subdivided by age groups. Close to the dormitories are situated the bathing and sanitary facilities which are provided with hot water. The orphanage also owns its laundering facilities.

Three physicians offer their services to Beit al-Yateem, each for a day. Only one of them is paid for his services. The Orphanage has a dispensary, officially licensed by the Ministry of Health. Furthermore, all students, teachers and personnel of the Orphanage are covered by the group accident insurance plan. It is also noteworthy that the Orphanage received many proposals from physicians who offer their free services.

Beit al-Yateem boasts six playgrounds, three of which are covered such as allow the student sports activities throughout all four seasons. Specialized teachers take care of these activities, which include meets with other schools.

The upper floor of the Azzam Building is a theater hall large enough for 350 spectators. In it are conducted recreational activities for the students, such as music, plays, lectures, as well as other extra-mural activities for lack of such space in Abey at present.

The Vocational School

A stone’s throw from the Beit al-Yateem Campus, stands the Arif al-Nakadi Vocational School. It consists of a modern building comprising dormitories, classrooms, and laboratory and workshop space. Admission priority is given to Beit al-Yateem’s school. Few day students are also admitted. It provides teaching and training in business administration, general mechanics, general electrify and electronics. Its main languages are Arabic and English, with French and an additional language taught for four hours a week to the students of business administration. The school helps its graduates find jobs.

Sources of Income

Beit al-Yateem and the Aref al-Nakadi Vocational School rely entirely on donors’ contributions, small assistance from the Lebanese government, and some philanthropic organizations. All contributions, whether in cash or in kind, are listed in the Monthly Al-Meethaq which carries a detailed financial statement published at the end of the year, and showing all incomes and expenses.

The orphanage not only a loving house for these orphans, but it also enabled education, health care, moral support and spiritual guidance. It has taken a number of years and the commitment and dedication of many people to build a home that would raise responsible, productive members of the society.