“Kelna Inta” – Mayssam Tannous

“We are all you”

TOGETHER FOR EVERYONE

“If we don’t start somewhere, nothing will ever change.”

Mayssam Tannous

“This is only the beginning, we are still on the way forward and will continue to move forward until a time will come when no one will have to beg for his fundamental rights anymore. Until then, we will continue to do everything we possibly can make this world in which we live just a little bit better”.

Her mission – a holistic humane approach!

Emergency aid since the explosion in Beirut in early August 2020!!!

Rehabilitation of houses in bad conditions

Medical care for people in need

Improving prison conditions

Foundation of a School

P.E.A.K.S: Peace through Education, Arts, Knowledge & Sports

The Beginning

The story of “Kelna Inta” began in 2016 when the young Lebanese Mayssam Tannous had just moved from Strasbourg to Berlin. She spent her vacations, as usual, in her home country Lebanon, where she supported various NGOs in their social work by visiting villages, hospitals, nursing homes and prisons. During a visit to Roumieh Prison, the largest prison in the country, she found the conditions there heartbreaking, shocking and inhuman. This was the impetus for her decision to return back to Lebanon and to do something for the country and the people living there.

The name “Kelna Inta” – „We are all you“

When Mayssam was asked who she was by those seeking help, she always answered: “Ana Inta” -” I am you”. She did not want to belong to any political party, religion or nationality. She just wanted those affected to know that she was here for them. And if there was anything she could do to ease their pain, she would do it. Ana Inta” (I am You) finally became “Kelna Inta” – “We are all You”.

Mayssam decided to found her own NGO (Non Government Organisation). She had no concrete plans at the beginning. All she knew at that time was, that there was so much to do and there were too few active people. She founded the necessary board of directors consisting of 4 people – her mother Yolla, two friends and herself. Also her aunt Bahia is still an essential part of the organization today.

They continued to visit prisons, organize and pay lawyers for the poor. They ‘rebuilt’ some of the cells, got ventilators and respirators, painted the walls (which had not been done for over 60 years), contacted the families of the prisoners, paid bail, and kept in touch with those released. 

They grew, many volunteers joined the team and helped immensely.

They started to teach children (mainly Iraqi and Syrian refugees) and help with homework. They support the medical care of destitute people and take care of their recovery. They provide monthly food supplies to families in difficulty.

They believe the best way to save people is by educating them, so they  opened a school with the NGO ‘Genius’. The school was initially established for children with special needs (autism, downsyndrom etc.). Their plan for this year was to make it accessible to all children, not only those with special needs, who can’t afford private schools. (Maysssam: Sadly public schools in Lebanon are often parents last resort and some parents would rather leave their kids at home instead of sending them to public schools.) With corona and the current restrictions they are still going to open this year and are preparing safety and precaution kits to protect children.

Currently they are tirelessly helping the need after the disaster in Beirut in early August 2020. The list goes on and seems endless …

Mayssam’s approach

“It was not about prisons or prisoners. It was much more far-reaching. It was about every suffering person, every person in need and everyone who wants to hear these stories. 

Fjodor Dostojewski, a Russian writer, journalist and philosopher, stated in one of his works that the degree of civilization of a society can be judged by entering its prisons.

I would like to emphasize once again, that it is not about the prisons. It is about all the injustice, all the damages and all the crimes (most of them are not forbidden by law, but they are terribly immoral and evil) that we have observed in our civilization. It is about the future we are destined for, and about the either arrogant, insensitive and spoiled generations we raise or the severely damaged and marked generations we ignore. I believe that all children should have equal opportunities in life, and I think that we all have a role to play in showing them that and doing our part.

The projects are countless and the opportunities are many. Every problem has its solution, although not many. Even something that my mother Yolla has repeated countless times over the years!”