Philanthropy Advisors Middle East


Identifying amazing projects and NGOs in Lebanon and across the Middle East


John Abbey visited Beirut and the Bekaa valley Lebanon in 2019 on behalf of a HNWI donor who wanted to support skills training and education projects for young people from Syria.

John’s role was to identify a number of cost effective, high impact NGOs.

The above picture shows a group of young men supported by UNHCR that are studying for a vocational qualification in metal work.

This type of project is vital if young men are to integrate into Lebanese society and have a chance of getting a decent job.

The alternative could quite easily be long term unemployment, radicalisation and a life spent in a refugee camp.

UNHCR has had a difficult time due to US budget cuts but it is still managing to carry out phenomenal work.

The youth training projects UNHCR sponsors and runs in Lebanon, provides a lifeline out of dependence and poverty for thousands of boys and girls every year.


Syrian School Children – Education must never stop

Just a few miles from the Syrian border some lucky Syrian children are in school. The school is not a permanent building. This would not be allowed by the authorities.

It is an ingenious “ikea” styled construct that can be dismantled and moved to another location without too much fuss.

The buildings are sturdy, warm and look great. The NGO that established the school John visited is the Kayany Foundation. The cost of building this facility was under $100,000.

The school can teach nearly 800 children with class sizes less than many UK schools.  The children were all in uniforms, well behaved and eager to learn, devouring every single word the teacher was saying.

They were happy children. The NGO recognised that nothing is permanent here which is why they went for a school complex that could be taken down and rebuilt if required somewhere else.

A brilliant solution that meant the school could be used to teach thousands of children in the years ahead in different and challenging locations. Cost effective, impactful and sustainable.

These two examples were exactly the type of project we were able to put forward to our donor.


How we can support you or your foundation

  • We can help develop your philanthropy strategy
  • Research NGOs and programmes to support based on your passion
  • Carry out due diligence and visit prospective organizations
  • Talk to those people benefiting from support
  • Provide in-depth regional and local economic and political knowledge
  • Develop partners
  • Monitor how your donation is being spent
  • Advise on forming a foundation and developing policies and governance


For more information on our philanthropy work


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Relevant articles

Bekaa Valley January 2019

Coutts Insight Middle East philanthropy