We aim to ensure safe shelter to families that have been affected by the August 4th blast and preserve their dignity. We have thus restored during the past year single residential units in Beirut helping 162 men, women and children regain their homes.
The port explosion has hit the heart of Beirut’s historical neighborhoods and destroyed landmark heritage buildings dating back to as early as the 1850’s, most of which are occupied by tenants and families who have been residing in them for decades. The estimated funding required to restore these buildings is $286m, excluding any museums and art galleries. With no government support, architectural heritage’s fate is left to private owners and NGOs.
Our work aim to:
▪ Restore, preserve and protect heritage buildings in partnership with specialized architects, engineers and legal experts
▪ Help preserve the vernacular social and cultural identity of neighborhoods
▪ Offer legal support to owners and tenants of heritage buildings and protect the tenancy of vulnerable families
The Tamish building in Beirut’s Mar Mikhael neighborhood was built in the 1920s, houses eight families and seven businesses and was severely damaged during the Beirut port blast. This heritage landmark has been fully renovated and restored to its original state
The Rif building, located in Beirut’s Gemmayze neighborhood, is a 1900s architectural landmark with a significant heritage value. The building sits right opposite the port and has suffered significant damages. The blast claimed the life of a victim who used to reside in this building. This heritage landmark has been fully renovated and restored to its original state.
Our heritage intervention took a cluster-focused approach targeting a collection of buildings rather than just individual buildings. The first selected cluster, the Gholam Cluster, comprises 5 heavily damaged heritage buildings, dating back to the 19th and 20th centuries, on rue Gouraud in Gemmayze housing 7 families, 11 businesses, and 54 direct beneficiaries. This heritage landmark has been fully renovated and restored to its original state.
Located only 600 m away from the epicenter of the blast, on pasteur and gouraud streets this 1880’s Beiruti heritage building was severely damaged. Over the course of the last two years, some restoration works were undertaken by several actors and NGos. We partnered with beirut heritage initiative and together libeirut to complete the rehabilitation of this building .
Small local businesses are the backbone of the Lebanese economy, employing thousands of people and nurturing countless families. In our quest to revive the destroyed neighborhoods , we are supporting micro and small businesses in the neighborhoods of Gemmayze, Mar Mikhael, Bourj Hammoud and Geitawy, and helping them sustain and grow. Our intervention includes rehabilitation of the shops and factories, equipment repair and upgrade, development of profit optimization strategies, uplifting of branding and communication, legal support and capacity development. Through our support to business owners, we are promoting long-term access to income and employment and restoring the economic activity and urban fabric of neighborhoods.
We embrace a variety of sectors in order to revitalize economic activity and bring back neighborhood life. We carefully target diverse businesses including women-led businesses and shops owned and managed by people with special needs in our quest for social sustainability.
▪ Restore the shop and fix broken glass, aluminum, false ceiling, lighting, plumbing, wood work, etc.
▪ Review current operating models and identify opportunities for improvement (upgrade of equipment, optimization of process, creation of hubs)
▪ Review actual cost items and identify opportunities for improvement (change in supplier, negotiation of raw material prices, improvement of packaging)
▪ Develop pricing tool to better inform price setting of products and services and therefore improve margins
▪ Review current business identity and revamp it (including logo, catalogue, menu, shop look and feel, shop signage etc.) and support them with marketing activities
▪ Improve shop layout from a visual merchandising point of view
▪ Introduce and launch businesses on digital social media platforms
▪ Introduce businesses to local delivery companies (toters) and to international platforms
▪ Identify skills that can be strengthened across businesses and deliver general or one-on-one trainings to the corresponding business owners or team member (in collaboration with HOLDAL or other partners)
Legal Support and Grant
▪ Identify need for legal support namely related to rent contract and provide business owners with tips and roadmap to fix them
Legal Support and Grant
▪ Provide grant to support owners in paying overdue rent costs
▪ Provide grant to support payment of employee salaries
A House of Christmas guide to local independent businesses in the heart of Beirut
Sofil Center, Block A, 6th floor.
© Copyright HouseOfChristmas