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Pierre Issa

Pierre Issa has worked with people with disabilities since the 1970s. In 1985, he co-founded arcenciel, developing many innovative services during the organization’s history, and today serves as its General Director. In 2014, he was awarded the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur for arcenciel’s work. Over the years Pierre has served on numerous committees including the National Committee for Persons with Disabilities in Lebanon, and he is also a founding member of the Himaya organization working with abused children.

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Hybrid Social Enterprise
Education; Sustainable Development; Humanitarian Action
Areas of Impact
Middle East & North Africa, Lebanon


Created in 1984 during the Lebanese civil war to assist disabled persons, arcenciel has become one of a leading technical aid producer in Lebanon, rehabilitating spaces for disabled persons, and developing a national programme for better accessibility for them. arcenciel has been recognized as a public institution since November 1995. arcenciel holds no political or religious affiliation and is an independent organization that works with and for all people in difficulty without discriminating based on age, gender, religion, culture or nationality.

Drawing on its success, arcenciel broadened its mission to engage in the sustainable development of society by supporting fragile groups and integrating marginalized people. Since its creation, arcenciel has provided around 37 million services to more than 380,000 beneficiaries. arcenciel also treats 80% of Lebanon’s hospital waste and 915 tonnes of solid wastes a year; and manages the 2 square km Jesuit Domaine de Taanayel through which it promotes sustainable agriculture and responsible tourism via its eco-touristic activities.

All activities implemented by arcenciel have a social and environmental purpose seeking economic viability to ensure sustainability. Its objective is to promote sustainable development through three main axes: social – the care of persons in need; environmental – the preservation of natural resources; and economic – cost-efficiency and financial autonomy. Arcenciel’s strategy is based on: community work, allowing the assessment of community needs, using available resources; service providers across Lebanon offering specialized services and working with and for beneficiaries; and public programmes guaranteeing a legal structure and stabilizing the two other pillars. arcenciel currently runs five programmes in 13 centres across Lebanon (Greater Beirut, Beqaa, Mount-Lebanon, North, and South Lebanon): Agriculture and Environment; Mobility and Health; Responsible Tourism and Cultural Heritage; Social Support; and Youth Empowerment. arcenciel has also recently established an office in France and the USA.


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