arcenciel is a Lebanese based non-profit organization established in 1985 during the Lebanese civil war. It was recognized as a public interest NGO in 1995 by Presidential Decree N7541.
With five core programs, being implemented at 12 centers across Lebanon, arcenciel’s main goal is to work with every person in need.
arcenciel aims to vigorously advance national policies in all the sectors in which it is active, while keeping a non-confessional and apolitical stance.
Adhering to the principles of sustainable development, arcenciel emphasizes the social and economic integration of marginalized people and communities back into society. It believes that every person, no matter the gravity of their handicap, is capable of overcoming their disability and contributing to the communities in which they live. arcenciel supports the diversity of society, and encourages the sustainability and conservation of natural resources in all aspects of its work.
In 1985, amidst the Lebanese civil war, five friends take action
to support the increasing number of people living with war-related disabilities in Lebanon.
Through an official publication by the Ministry of Interior, arcenciel receives the accreditation, created on 21-11-1985
The first physical therapy and medical consultation unit opens
in the Jisr el Wati center in Beirut.
As one of Lebanon’s first running Social Enterprise, the ceramics workshop begins to employ people with disabilities to create and sell hand-made ceramic products
Through vocational trainings and job searches, the placement bureau opens to help people with disabilities gain financial autonomy in Lebanon.
The program starts its own production factory for mobility equipment.
arcenciel and the Ministry of Social Affairs launch the “Rights and Access” national program – a legal body that grants social security coverage and legal rights to people living with disabilities in Lebanon.
The association is recognized as a public interest non-profit organization by the presidential decree number N7541
The youth program takes it’s first steps in Halba, Akkar, when a group of young people ask to use a gym and pool originally intended as a rehabilitation tool for people with disabilities. Inspired by the youth’s enthusiasm, arcenciel incubates a specific program “for and with the youth in Lebanon”.
The “Rights and Access” national program passes Bill 220. Amongst other things, the bill enables people with disabilities to be reimbursed for their mobility equipment and health treatments. It imposes a quota requiring companies to hire a minimum number of disabled people.
After trainings with Cirque du Monde, arcenciel’s youth clubs hone their circus skills and launch cirquenciel, Lebanon’s first social circus school. cirquenciel promotes intercultural dialogue and supports at-risk youth on through their life journey.
Launching its new program, arcenciel begins treating Potentially Infectious Healthcare Waste (PIHCW). The program directly protects Lebanon’s environment and people from waste-related health issues.
arcenciel opens the Auberge Maasser El Chouf, a guesthouse located in the stunning natural landscape of Lebanon’s Chouf region. A rejuvenating escape from city life, where guests enjoy stunning hikes, biking and nature activities within walking distance from the hotel.
In Taanayel, the youth program opens an ‘integration nursery’ and specialized classes for students under the age of 10 living with special needs. They are created in response to the area’s needs: no other infrastructure existed for children living with disabilities in the Bekaa region.
In Taanayel, the Ecolodge opens its doors as a traditional mud-house lodge constructed in the typical Bedouin style. Both conserving history and offering comfortable accommodations, the hotel provides a natural escape and learning experience to visitors.
arcenciel France is launched to empower, train and recruit young people on the functions of Social Entrepreneurship. The branch brings in foreign perspectives and opinions to in-country operations.
arcenciel begins handling and managing Domaine de Taanayel, a 560 acres plot of land that conserves local biodiversity and provides a small natural park for its worldwide visitors.
Work begins on recycling waste in Lebanon. After the success of the “Bouchons Roulants” project, arcenciel starts picking up plastic, cans and paper throughout the country and dropping them off at the sorting centers strategically located in every corner of Lebanon. Sorted recyclables are then sold to recycling companies.
arcenciel begins research to create the first biopesticide in the MENA region. Le Biop is specifically tailored to meet the specific needs of the Lebanese ecosystem and designed not to harm human beings or microorganisms.
In response to the environmental waste crisis that began summer of 2015, arcenciel publishes a manual on how municipalities can effectively manage their waste. arcenciel also trains, raises awareness and prepares municipalities to implement their own waste management centers.
arcenciel USA, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was founded in January 2016 and is registered in the State of New York. arcenciel USA provides a bridge for US-based individuals, institutions, and corporations to support Lebanon’s most underprivileged and marginalized communities regar
In order to effectively contribute to the sustainable development of society, arcenciel acts in environmental, socio-cultural and economic fields.
The arcenciel strategy is built from the ground up: we start in the community, establish a social enterprise around social issues and pass national public policy.
In 30 years, arcenciel has built a culture around differences, new technologies and community building for people in difficulty.
arcenciel’s activities span the entire Lebanese territory, with centers spread throughout each region of the country.
arcenciel also extends its activity beyond Lebanon’s borders, sharing its expertise with other countries facing similar problems.
Hospital el Razzi – Akkar
Tel: +961 6 693 030
Halba, capital of casa of Akkar, is located at the intersection of major highways that cover the whole Lebanese northern region. An arcenciel center was established there to help the disadvantaged population of the region in the post-war years.
The center produces crutches and other mobility equipment. It also provides healthcare services: physiotherapy, neurological and orthopedic services…
Ground Floor, Building 110, Street 90, Jisr el Wati
Tel: +961 03 117 684 / +961 70 257 631
To better serve its clientele in Beirut, the Corniche el Nahr center, opened since May 2017 and hosting the first circus school in the MENA region, will now also house part of the arenciel Brocante.
Jisr el Wati, av. Emile Lahoud, Sin El Fil,
B.P. 16 5216 Beyrouth, Liban
Tel: 961 1 565 655 ext.2168
In 1986, arcenciel approached the furniture manufacturing company " Lignes et Couleurs " (in Jisr el Wati) with a request to employ disabled people in their carpentry workshops. It is facing this furniture factory, in abandoned warehouses that arcenciel was born.
Today, the center provides medical and paramedical care; it produces wheelchairs, orthopedic shoes, walkers, and other mobility equipment. The center also treats Infectious Hospital Care Waste, and collects recyclable waste that is later sent to the sorting center in Baabda.
Finally, the center also assists people in difficulty through its Rainbow Club, its ceramic workshop, and in its Social and Placement Office.
Rue John Kennedy, Jisr el Bacha, Sin el Fil,
BP 16.5216, Beyrouth – Liban
Tel: 961 1 495 561 ext.5
Towards the end of the war and in response to many requests from youths seeking to become productive citizens by working at arcenciel, the association responded by opening a new center. A two-story house on a 496m² lot in Jisr el Bacha was chosen.
The center of Jisr el Bacha has become the headquarters of arcenciel. Recyclable waste can be deposited on site, as well as all types of donations for the social boutique.
Main street, Saint-Joseph center, Damour– Chouf.
Tel: +961 5 602 642
Initially, donated furniture was donated through arcenciel to displaced war veterans returning home to Damour. This service was meant to help young couples furnish their homes and to encourage repopulation of the Damour area post-war.
The Damour center now hosts La Brocante, a space where people can either donate or purchase gently used furniture, books, bikes, etc. The center also collects recyclable waste, and welcomes youth with difficulties at its Rainbow Club and Integrative Kindergarten.
Rue de Damas, Taanayel – Bekaa
+961 8 544 881
The center distributes and repairs all types of technical aids for disabled people. It also provides medical and paramedical care (physiotherapy, oxygen-therapy, general consultations), welcomes children and youths with different difficulties (integrative kindergarten, specialized classes, Rainbow club). The center also has second-hand clothing store La Boutique.
Rue de Damas, Taanayel – Bekaa
Tel: +961 8 540 066
Owned by the Jesuit Fathers since 1863, this area in Taanayel is well known for its social commitment to the needy in the Beqaa. arcenciel began managing the Domaine de Taanayel in 2009, a 560 acres plot of land which conserves local biodiversity and provides a natural park for its international visitors.
Visitors can also enjoy fresh and local products made in the Domaine at the Laiterie du Couvent de Taanayel .
Damascus street, Taanayel – Bekaa
Tel: +961 8 544 881
Faithful to its mission of contributing to sustainable development, arcenciel committed in 2006 to open a hostel in Taanayel, built in the traditional architecture and with the ancestral Lebanese construction methods of the region.
In 2009, as an addition to the Ecolodge de Taanayel, arcenciel built a traditional Lebanese restaurant, Al Khan al Makssoud, an ideal place for country-style lunches and group gatherings. Rustic regional specialties such as slow-cooked roast mutton draw in locals and foreigners alike.
Church Notre Dame du secours Haddath street- Baabda
Tel: +961 5 922 956
The Baabda center opened in summer 2015 in the midst of the garbage crisis. The center collects and sorts recyclable waste. Paper, metal and plastic waste that is then sent to recycling plants, and organic waste is transformed into compost.
Former St-Jean Hospital street, Baouchriye
Tel: +961 1 495 561 Ext.1307
Social and youth programs are the main focus at the Sad el Baouchriye center which opened its doors at the end of summer 2016. The center will house a new space for La Boutique, and will provide activities for young people.
Near the wastewater treatment plant (just before the Sour exit), Saida, South Lebanon
Tel: +961 1 495 561 ext. 1321
The center in Saida is one of 5 centers in Lebanon that collect and treat Infectious Hospital Care Waste.
Fayda Street, next to Zahlé dump- Beqaa
Tel: +961 1 495 561 ext. 1321
The center in Zahlé is one of 5 centers in Lebanon collecting and treating Infectious Hospital Care Waste.
In front of Hospital Our Lady Zgharta, Zgharta- North Lebanon
Tel: +961 1 495 561 ext. 1321
The center in Zgharta is one of 5 centers in Lebanon collecting and treating Infectious Hospital Care Waste.
Hotel Alexandre street, Hospital back door- Ashrafieh, Beirut
Tel: +961 1 495 561 ext. 1321
The center at Hotel Dieu Hospital is one of the 5 centers in Lebanon collecting and treating Infectious Hospital Care Waste.
arcenciel has received several awards for its work towards sustainable development in a wide range of fields
2016 – arcenciel received, for the second time, the Ford Motor Company’s Conservation & Environmental Grant, for its “Lebanese Conservation Volunteers” (LCV) initiative.
2015 – The Ghazal Foundation awarded arcenciel the “Prix de la Paix au Liban” for the organization’s apolitical and non-confessional promotion of peace in a challenging environment.
2015 – arcenciel was chosen as “Social Entrepreneur of the Year”. This coveted prize is awarded by the Schwab Foundation, the creators of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
2015 – The Spanish government honored Mr. Pierre Issa, co-founder of arcenciel, with the prestigious Commander of the Order of the Civil Merit. The Spanish Ambassador, Ms Milagros Hernando, personally bestowed the Commander of the Spanish Order of Merit upon Mr. Issa.
2015 – The General Director of the Dubai Municipality and the Executive Director of the United Nations Program UN HABITAT rewarded arcenciel with the Certificate of Best Practices for the environmental program initiative “Solidarity Based on the Network for Sustainable Management of Water”.
2015 – During the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Summit for the Middle East and North Africa, arcenciel won the “MENA CSR Excellence” prize in the Sustainable Environment category which took place May 19, 2015 in Dubai.
2014 – Mr. Pierre Issa, co-founder of arcenciel, accepted his award as Chevalier dans l’ordre de la Légion d’Honneur from M. Paoli, Ambassador of France to Lebanon, in a ceremony at the Domaine de Taanayel. The award, conferred by decree of the President of France, is the highest decoration granted by the French government.
2014 – arcenciel was awarded the “Wahdatouna khalasouna” (Our unity is our salvation) prize for its contribution to civil peace in Lebanon.
2014 – arcenciel received the award for “Best Idealistic NGOs (BINGO)” in the environmental sector
2014 – arcenciel received the Energy Globe National Lebanese Prize for its solidarity project in creating a waste recycling management network. This project was executed in partnership with Advantage Austria-Official Trade Promotion, at the Organization of the Republic of Austria.
2014 – arcenciel received the trophy “Waterfront Cities Commit” for its “Recycle for Solidarity” initiative, as part of the Rolling Caps project.
2014 – arcenciel received the 5th Intercultural Innovation Award for “A Circus School for Intercultural Dialogue” in Bali, Indonesia.
2014 – arcenciel received the Earth Card award from the Lebanese French Bank and UNDP, for the preservation of water in Lebanon
2013 – arcenciel received the award for the best professional MBA project from MBA IP Lebanon, for the study of the production launch of “Biopesticide” in Lebanon
2013 – arcenciel received the Ford Motor Company’s Conservation & Environmental Grant, for its “Rolling Caps” project which focuses on recyclable waste, specifically plastic bottle caps.
2012 – arcenciel was awarded the Nestlé “Creating Shared Value” prize in New Delhi, India, for its Wataneh Fair Trade Program.
2010 – arcenciel received the Takreem Award from Ricardo Karam, for development and creativity