UNIFIL Italian Contingent recently completed the renovation of a rehabilitation centre for children with disabilities in the village of Qana, south-western Lebanon, and handed it over to local authorities this week.
The two-month renovation project, funded by the Government of Italy, included restructuring and modification of the “Al-Basma Centre for Special Needs” to ensure safety condition of the building as well as improvement of the internal comfort for the users. Its canteen was totally rebuilt according to the most modern standards in energy efficiency systems – a space that creates conducive atmosphere for the children to interact and make friends.
With the latest UNIFIL support, the rehabilitation facility which deals with health care, education and integration of young people with disabilities can better serve some 20 young Lebanese with special needs who live in the facility.
Today, UNIFIL Sector West Commander Brigadier General Andrea Di Stasio and fellow peacekeepers joined the mayor of Qana Mohammed Hassan Kresht, and the Centre’s director Hassan Daklallah in opening the newly renovated facility.
“This is a very important day,” said Mr. Kresht. “I wish to… express our gratitude (to the UNIFIL Italian Contingent) for the commitment and the closeness towards one of the most vulnerable groups of our population.”
For his part, Brig. Gen. Di Stasio said: “I do believe that it is extremely important to invest in cultural and educational dimensions, in all areas of the society, so that no one would be left on the margins.”
Between their core peacekeeping duties, UNIFIL peacekeepers regularly carry out various activities like this one in support of the host communities, which – together with their operational activities – have helped keep calm in the Mission’s area of operation for more than 14 years.