Here are our updates from ARM and MCC for the winter season!
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Winter is here (supposedly!), and so is our winter newsletter.

This edition is mostly about our current and upcoming activities at MCCPlease share this newsletter with migrant workers you know!

The new Migrant Community Center in Gemmayze

On the 3rd of November, the new MCC opened its doors and welcomed at least 200 migrant workers at its launch party! There were many people from Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Philippines, Bangladesh, and many other Asian and African countries. There was great food, prepared by members of the Filipino and Sri Lankan communities, and lively music from Ethiopia, Bangladesh, India, and other countries! Thankfully, some of the attendees shared their pictures with us; check them out here!

Shortly after the launch, we resumed the activities that were taking place at the previous MCC (in Nabaa), and started some new ones! Here is a schedule of our regular weekly activities so far (we will be adding new ones soon!):

All the classes mentioned are free of charge, and taught by volunteers!
If you know any migrant workers who would like to attend these classes, please spread the word.
If you would like to volunteer to help teach a class, or start a new one, we’d love to hear from you! For more info, read this call for volunteers, or visit us anytime during opening hours.

Upcoming events at MCC

*THIS SUNDAY* Migrant Communities Crafts Market #4:
Every few months, a group of migrant workers get together and display some of their great handmade items, crafts, accessories, and homemade food, with each stand offering traditional items from a different Asian or African country. Pass by this Sunday February 23, anytime between 11am and 4pm. A great place to get an original present for yourself or a loved one, at a great price! Check out the event on facebook.
Monthly Community Dinner:
Every month, MCC hosts a cook from a different country to make a lovely buffet dinner. The event is open to everyone. Last week, we had a delicious traditional Congolese dinner! In the two prior events, we enjoyed cuisine from Ethiopia and Sudan! In March, we will have a Nepalese dinner (momos anyone??). Tickets are 15,000LL for adults, and 8,000LL for kids. You can book your ticket now by emailing us.
Also, if you know a migrant worker who cooks tasty food from his/her country, this could be a good opportunity for them!
The 4th Annual Workers’ Day Celebration:
This year, ARM, along with the rest of the Migrant Domestic Worker Consortium members, are planning a week of activities, instead of one day! There will be a variety of events planned (from festivals to conferences) around the first of May. More details to come. If you have any suggestions, please share!

Past events
End-of-year event at MCC:
We celebrated the end of 2013 with a great party at MCC! Around 150 migrant workers and their children attended. There was great music, activities for children, delicious snacks, and our very own Santa Claus who came bearing gifts for all the children! See the lovely pics here. All this was organized by 2 of our amazing volunteers!
Outside MCC, here’s a recap of what has been going on at ARM:

Information Sessions (ongoing): Every few weeks, we invite an expert in the field to share their knowledge and experience with us in an informal setting. Open to all! Past info sessions speakers include: Kafa, ALEF, ILO, Dr. Charbel Nahhas, and Insan School. If you would like to suggest a speaker (or speak yourself) for the next one, let us know.

Education: In order to target a younger audience, we are currently working on new anti-racism projects targeting schools in Lebanon with the ILO. Details to come!

Consortium of NGOs: Together with other NGOs working on migrant workers’ rights (Kafa, Insan, Caritas, and Amel, under the umbrella of DRC), we have formed a consortium in order to coordinate our efforts and work on joint activities and campaigns. Some highlights:
  • Beirut International Marathon (2013): we entered a group of almost 100 migrant workers in the marathon last year! They wore t-shirts calling for the end of the sponsorship system. See the inspiring pics here. We believe that activities like these help to integrate migrant workers into more “mainstream” aspects of Lebanese life, and to challenge many people’s view of them as “just maids”.
  • Workers’ Day Parade and Festival (April 2013)
  • FiShiGhalat campaign against the sponsorship system (see FB page)
  • Media Lab: Media Lab training for migrant workers (now in progress), where they can learn to create and use videos and other media for activism and citizen journalism. 

Join us!

We're working on many interesting activities, campaigns, and projects, and we would love for more people to get involved. So if you're interested in joining any of our efforts, or if you have your own ideas you would like to work on with ARM, we want to hear from you!

For more information, or to contact us:

Anti-Racism Movement:
Twitter: @ARM_Leb
Migrant Community Center:
Tel: 01/444283 or 71/410678
We’re located in Gemmayze, see map for exact location.

Ongoing Call for Donations

As always, if you have clothes or other essential items you would like to donate to the less fortunate, we are constantly collecting donations at Nasawiya or MCC, which (for now) mostly go to Syrian refugees (via Sawa for Syria). A small part of the donations goes the migrant women in Ebbe Prison, as well as needy migrant workers and their families in Beirut. Of course, you can specify whom you would like your donations to go to.
Thank you for reading our newsletter! Feedback and suggestions are welcome!