The spirit of service lives on at LAU
LAU honors NGOs for their wholehearted dedication to humanitarian causes in Lebanon.
Representatives of Lebanese NGOs, as well as LAU students, faculty and staff gathered on the Beirut campus on April 13 to celebrate their spirit of service in the first annual NGO symposium.
The event was organized by the Outreach and Civic Engagement unit in collaboration with the Adnan Kassar School of Business to highlight the success of BUS299 course, a zero-credit mandatory course that promotes community engagement, and through which business students volunteer for a cause during a whole semester.
“The power of service stems from the power of love,” said LAU President Joseph G. Jabbra, who not only gave his accolades to the NGOs of Lebanon for their hard work in their respective causes, but also to the life lessons and values they teach young adults, LAU students included.
The 46 NGOs present at the symposium were a fraction of the 250 on LAU’s application list. What made them stand out was that they were part of the 53 that LAU students interned for this semester through BUS299, which was launched in 2013.
“1,480 LAU students were given the opportunity to intern at these NGOs through the course,” said Assistant Vice President for Outreach and Civic Engagement Elie Samia.
Instructor at the Adnan Kassar School of Business Dunia Harajli stressed the need for business schools to go back to their roots, “as future business leaders must be taught to also embrace social and moral wealth.” According to Harajli, a course like BUS299 is crucial because “it gives our students a glimpse of what it means to be human,” she said.
Following the screening of students’ testimonies of their experiences with the organizations they interned with, the NGO representatives received awards for galvanizing relief work at LAU and for their dedication to humanitarian concerns in Lebanon.
“Getting this recognition is really rewarding… It shows that what we are doing matters,” said Sevine Fakhoury, a board member of Beirut for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (BETA). She commended LAU’s initiative through the BUS299 course “as it introduces the younger generation to the act of volunteering. It is social education, and that is productive both for the students and the community as a whole.” Notable she added, “the great part is that many students continue to volunteer at the NGO they interned with even after they graduate.”