Lebanese American University


Creating change

LAU Social Work student, Dina Daoudi, raises an impressive USD 13,000 to pay for emergency heart operation.


LAU Social Work student, Dina Daoudi, raises an impressive USD 13,000 to pay for emergency heart operation.

Dina Daoudi, a Social Work student at LAU has successfully raised USD 13,000 for the healthcare of a 22-year-old Palestinian man in Sabra refugee camp. The university’s Social Work program encourages students to engage with the community and develop hands on experience though two practical internships that prepare them to work in the field, upon graduation.

This year, as part of her degree field practice, Daoudi worked with the Health Care Society, a Lebanese NGO dedicated to providing medical support for communities unable to afford or access healthcare. “I am originally Palestinian, so my dream is to help Palestinian refugees. And that’s why I wanted to work with the Health Care Society, who I know works in these communities,” she says.

Daoudi’s first task was that of Ahmed Al Ali, who was suffering from heart disease and needed a delicate and expensive operation to have a battery fitted in his heart. After meeting Al Ali and his family in Sabra and Chatilla Palestinian Camp, Daoudi took on the challenge of raising the sum of money necessary for his healthcare. “I went from door to door to raise the money. I approached numerous NGOs and some were able to give a donation, but many only have money allocated to Palestinian children and since Ahmed was 22 he didn’t qualify.”

Alongside the fundraising of Al Ali’s mother, Daoudi continued visiting companies such as Mercedes Benz Lebanon and banks such as Al Ahli Bank in downtown Beirut, both of which donated USD 1,000 each, she even approached family and friends in order to reach the USD 13,000 goal.

Daoudi, who hopes to work in the future for the UN’s World Food Programme in Lebanon or abroad, praised the benefits of the practical component of her BA in Social Work. “It’s great that they encourage you to go out into the community. Engagement is really central to the course,” she said. “I’ve learned how to interact with people from different communities and not be emotional, which is really essential.”

Daoudi praised the varied work and interesting opportunities the degree has brought her and recommends high schoolers to consider it for undergrad study, though she underlines it’s not for everyone: ‘You have to have compassion, an ability to engage with others, to be very open, learn about every problem and follow it up,’ she explained. What drew her to the field though, was the potential to create real change in the world. After raising USD 13,000 in funds for Al Ali, positive change is something that Daoudi has already begun.


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