Our hands are to produce work. They are not to beg!
This was the very first bold statement that Al-Kafaàt made on the walls of its Karm el Zaytoun factory in Ashrafieh. It later evolved to become the Mission Statement of the Foundation.
We are Potentials, not Handicaps.
Every man, irrespective of the degree and severity of his handicaps, remains a reservoir of potentials, a source of life, of hope and of joyfulness. The human being transcends every limiting definition that confines him to any aspect or status.
The human potential is an invitation to action and creation, the “handicap” acting as a propulsive force. To limit the interest to the “handicaps” and build up custodial care centers to institutionalize the impaired is an injury to God, a depreciation of the human being, and a misuse of material and human wealth.
Al-Kafaàt is the Arabic word for Ability.
The Al-Kafaàt Foundation was developed so that the one considered “handicapped” by our society, whether his handicap is physical, mental, social or financial, could become an enriching factor, and an indispensable element in the developing countries that have limited resources.
Al-Kafaàt is dedicated to delivering Rehabilitation and Education to all, irrespective of personal religion and political affiliations.
Al-Kafaàt delivers its services to a daily population of 4,500 individuals, in 7 different Campuses and 12 active projects, with a working team of over 800 employees.
Al-Kafaàt is a founding member of the World Commission on Vocational Rehabilitation (1963), a member of the International Cerebral Palsy Society (1979), a member of Inclusion International (1981), a recipient of the Rehabilitation International Presidential Award (1984), a three time recipient of the Lebanese Order of Cedars (Knight in 1972, Officer in 1997, and Commander in 2007), and recipient of the Antonian Gold Medal of the North-American Antiochian Archdiocese (2010).
Al-Kafaàt is finally an appeal to the union with the marginal, the ones considered “small” and the “last” of the ladder in the current social nomenclature, in the hearts of whom God is waiting, proposing the dialogue and calling for true brotherhood.
~ Founder Nadeem Shwayri, from his autobiography “We are All Handicapped” (1982)