Social Change

The Business of Social Change.

The Burj el-Barajneh refugee camp sprawls on the southern outskirts of Beirut. Crumbling brick buildings are piled haphazardly upon one another. The narrow alleys between are strewn with trash and strung with water conduits and electricity cables that provide only sporadic running water and power.

Housing more than 30,000 inhabitants within one square kilometer, the camp is a place of continual struggle for Palestinian—and, increasingly, Syrian—refugees, who subsist on U.N. handouts and face severe restrictions on employment. It’s the last place you’d expect to nd anything as au courant as a food truck. But in 2014, a group of women who were frustrated that many of the potential customers for their catering business lived outside the camp turned for help to Alfanar Lebanon, a “venture philanthropy” organisation that helps social service organisations become more sustainable.

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