If anyone wanted to see the future of Lebanon- to experience the best of what this country can be- then that person should have been at the Orphans' Fair organized by the Desert Streams club, on Saturday, April 16, 2005.
Hundreds of happy children, ranging from 5 to 12 years old, danced, sang, ate, ran around, laughed, burst balloons, received gifts and played in the playground of the Armenian Evangelical College, adjacent to Haigazian University.
David, 7, said he had fun, and it's his third year attending this event. Maya, 10, enjoyed the games and the good food.
On Saturday the 16 th of April 2005, for the third consecutive year, and with a great success, Desert Streams, Haigazian University's humanitarian club, invited around 500 orphans and underprivileged children for a big kermes at the Armenian Evangelical college, next to the university.
The purpose of the Club is to help needy children and institutions through students' efforts.
"We have been working for this event for more than two months, with many sub- committees, and with more than hundred student volunteers' said Sima Tchakhchakhian, President of the Club, a junior Biology student at the university.
Part of the reason for organizing the day was to make people aware of the number of orphanages in Lebanon. This is why as many orphanages as possible from a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds were invited to the event, such as Cedar Home, Hasan Khaled Institution, The National Institution of Social Care and Vocational Training, Jinishian and Trad
The event was mainly paid for by the Student Club's budget, and by a few sponsors who, for instance, provided the food and beverages.
"One of the main difficulties was in finding sponsors to cover costs' said Antranik Dakessian, Director of Student Life at Haigazian.
The event was beneficial to both children and Haigazian students.
The kids clearly enjoyed the change of scenery and the creative games they played. The event also included a stage with a DJ, and many of the children volunteered to sing on stage.
"It's a good opportunity for them to meet children from other orphanages, and to get out of their routine and sometimes unpleasant atmosphere of their day- to- day life; it gives them more confidence" considered Alain Keyrouz, Assistant Director of Student Life.
On another hand, these kinds of initiatives are very important for students, as the experience provides them with a balanced education.
"This activity will enrich Haigazian students, enabling them to acquire managerial skills, in terms of organization, coordination, and follow-up" noted Mira Yardemian, Director of Public Relations of the University.
In the afternoon, President Haidostian walked among the children, sharing their joy and fun. He considered that such an activity goes in line with the motto of the University: Truth, Freedom, and Service.
"The best way of promoting our motto, is in actualizing it" Haidostian stated.
Director of Public Relation