Lebanon, after leaving her violent husband, Rita gets her life back

Thanks to funds from Global Affairs Canada (GAC), INTERSOS will help more than 7,000 vulnerable people in the North of the country



“Drawing is my source of peace. In the most difficult times in life, I always find power in expressing myself through my drawings.” Rita tell us. Rita is a 50 years old Syrian woman who escaped the war and came to Tripoli in Lebanon with her family. After they arrived, the family faced many new challenges such as to find a regular source of income, to find their bearings in the new environment, and to raise their children.


“It is a story full of disappointments and breakdowns,” says Rita adding “I still remember the first time we arrived to Lebanon while I was still pregnant with my only child; we had nowhere and nobody to go to.” Due to the many difficulties they were facing, tension started to rise between her and her husband. Rita discovered that her husband was already married to another woman and was verbally and physically abused. She tolerated these to protect her children. Rita turned to INTERSOS, where she received support to be divorced from her husband and relocated with her son to a safe space. The team also helped her with specialised Case Management and individual psychological counseling services.


The programme in which Rita is envolved, funded by Global Affairs Canada, is an integrated health and protection response implemented by INTERSOS and its partner PUI, that will actively strive to identify and support more than 7,900 vulnerable people in north Lebanon between Tripoli and Akkar. “The support received from INTERSOS really helped my mother to overcome her issues and focus on what really matter: her dreams and passion” said Alaa Rita’s son and added “I will always support my mother in her decisions and to pursue her dreams, even if will work day and night to be financially stable”.


Rita now is in the process of getting divorced, she started a new job as a drawing teacher in a school, and started doing her own drawings. She attended some free workshop to gain more skills and build more capacities to do better in her job. “I am very happy. I really am proud to see Rita confident about herself, interacting with other talented people, and gaining new skills.” Mariam the case worker says.


“I dream of having my own exhibitions, I hope one day I can show the world my drawings and share my experience with people from everywhere.” Rita says. Rita’s story shows the positive impact of the work that INTERSOS has been doing for years in support of the most vulnerable people.

Flavia Melillo
Flavia Melillo