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A team of 40 doctors, plus a staff of 40, serves about 4,000 patients a month at the Bourj Hammoud clinic. Of those, 3,000 are Syrian refugees and 1,000 from the Lebanese host community. About two-thirds of the clinic’s current beneficiaries are Muslim. “The health center is available to everyone, because health is for all,” stresses Lebanon Field Director Serop Ohanian.

In Bourj Hammoud, the Syrian refugee population is still growing, notes Mr. Ohanian. They live in overcrowded conditions, typically with two or three families squeezed together in small, dismal apartments that rarely see the light of day. During Lebanon’s humid, cold and rainy winters, moisture hangs on concrete walls, frequently turning into mold, sparking respiratory conditions among residents.

“Their situation is catastrophic, and getting worse. We’re seeing more Syrian refugees entering into poverty,” Mr. Ohanian says.

Lebanon is an expensive country, a marked contrast for the refugees who were once accustomed to a low cost of living and a range of government-provided services in their native Syria. A recent survey released by EuroCost International found that Beirut ranked seventh globally, surpassing London and New York City, in terms of the cost of living. Lebanon’s economic stagnation is compounded by the refugee crisis, with more Lebanese also slipping into poverty.

Aside from the bustling medical clinic, the Karagheusian Center includes a social unit with the aim of providing support and encouragement to Christians living in Lebanon — Syrian refugees, Iraqi refugees and the local vulnerable host community — so they may have a dignified life. The team includes eight social workers.

The center’s social services include home visits in which care, food and clothing are provided, as well as health support at the clinic. It provides an after-school program, where children do their homework in an encouraging environment, complete with tutoring. Schoolbooks have been provided to 750 Syrian Armenian and Lebanese Armenian children.

In the summer, the center hosts a day camp that includes activities, outings and remedial classes so children can enjoy their summer. In 2018, there were 390 camp participants. Additionally, psychological support is provided to Armenian Syrian and marginalized host community children with special needs as a way of reducing their ordeals.

The Karagheusian Center also offers vocational training for women in specialties such as hairdressing, cooking and urban agriculture so they may have the opportunity to help their families materially. Language classes in English and French ease their adaptation to Lebanon’s trilingual environment — Arabic, English and French.

As part of the women’s empowerment program, each week the center hosts three groups, with respective sessions on specific days for Syrian Armenian refugees, Lebanese Christians and elderly women in general.

In the auditorium of the neighboring Armenian Evangelical Shamilian Tatigian School, some 150 Syrian Armenian women begin arriving for their weekly gathering, chatting with each other, as if catching up with old friends. Announcements for upcoming activities include a day trip to Harissa, the shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon.

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