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Mary Mother of Wisdom – Sagesse Foundation in the USA: A link between expatriates and Sagesse Schools

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 – Al Joumhouria

With the purpose of improving cooperation and cohesion between Lebanese in the countries of expatriation and Lebanese residing in Lebanon, “Mary Mother of Wisdom – Sagesse Foundation” has been established in the United States of America to collect aid for Sagesse schools in Lebanon. This will contribute in enabling students with financial or educational difficulties to complete their education. The Foundation will also contribute in transferring the latest technological teaching tools from the US to Lebanon and exchanging knowledge, expertise and culture between students in both countries.

“Mary Mother of Wisdom – Sagesse Foundation” has been established in Los Angeles, California. Before launching the Foundation in Los Angeles, the President of the Foundation, Engineer Joseph Karaki visited Sagesse High School, Ain Saadeh where he was briefed on the statuses and needs of Sagesse schools in Lebanon. During this visit, he met with Mgr. Boulos Matar, Archbishop of Beirut and Patron of la Sagesse, Father Gabriel Tabet, Sagesse High School Rector, Father Joseph Charbel, Sagesse High School Bursar, and Ms. Helene Daou, Public Relations Manager at Sagesse High School and Managing Director of the Foundation.


Collecting aid and exchanging students

The President of “Mary Mother of Wisdom – Sagesse Foundation,” Engineer Joseph Karaki graduated from Sagesse schools in Lebanon and currently presides House of Lebanon in Los Angeles. He previously served, between 2005 and 2013, as Chairman of the Planning Committee of Anaheim city, California. The position is on voluntary basis in line with community service. Mr. Karaki’s experience with mobilizing the Lebanese community in Los Angeles and its suburbs which includes around 150,000 Lebanese and his experience in community service in the US benefit him as President of the Foundation with access to the largest number of Lebanese and submitting proposals to Sagesse schools.

In this context, Mr. Karaki stressed that “The purpose of establishing “Mary Mother of Wisdom – Sagesse Foundation” is very important as it does not only aim to provide assistance for schools but also gives importance to student exchange between the US and Lebanon, thus contributing on one hand in transferring technological development and updates to Lebanon and conveying on the other hand the knowledge and discoveries acquired by American students during their stay in Sagesse schools in Lebanon to the US.”

Mr. Karaki noted that the House of Lebanon, established in 2000 to preserve the Lebanese culture and transfer the Lebanese customs and traditions to future generations, is the leading mean of communication with Sagesse graduates and Lebanese residing in Los Angeles in particular and the USA in general.

Promoting departments and “Community Service”

“Mary Mother of Wisdom – Sagesse Foundation” which is a non-profit organization will be launched during a dinner reception on November 17, 2017 at The Beverly Hilton, Los Angeles in the presence of Archbishop Matar.

Mr. Karaki declared that “the foundation will be launched in Los Angeles, but its work will include all the United States of America.” He also pointed out that communication with Lebanese expatriates will also be conducted through social media and through the Foundation’s official website which will also be launched during the dinner reception organized to launch the Foundation and collect donations. He declared that the reception will be broadcast live on the website allowing people to watch it from all over the world.

The main goal of the Foundation is cultural exchange between Lebanon and the USA. Through student exchange between Sagesse schools and schools in the US, financial aid and grants for students with financial difficulties, and special educational services for children with learning difficulties such as ADHD, hyperactivity disorder and attention deficit, the school will be able to follow up on them and provide the yearly tuition fees.

During his meeting with Sagesse High School Rector, and after going over its departments, Mr. Karaki noted that the school follows educational and technological development and provides its students with numerous programs and activities. The school also includes special departments such as the special education department for students with learning difficulties.

Moreover, Sagesse High School cares for, guides and helps students with athletic talents. It offers the American Program, thus facilitating cooperation and student exchange with the USA. It also offers the Model United Nations that enables students to participate in international conferences to express their opinion and learn to dialogue.

Mr. Karaki emphasized that full transparency will constitute the core feature of the Foundation’s work. Every activity conducted by the Foundation as well as its budget will be published in detail on its website.

Mr. Karaki stressed on the concept of “community service” and highlighted the necessity of having schools organize extracurricular programs for students to help the community and promote the culture of community service in Lebanon.

Archbishop Matar

For his part, Archbishop Matar noted that “Sagesse schools were founded in Lebanon 140 years ago and have been educating generations ever since.” He added that “the circumstances are difficult for everyone and the helping capacity is decreasing. The school cannot close its doors before students suffering from financial difficulties. For that reason, we resorted to our graduates and friends abroad to lend a helping hand.”

He added that “the Foundation, presided by Engineer Joseph Karaki, a Sagesse schools graduate, will constitute the link between Lebanese in the countries of expatriation and Lebanese residing in Lebanon to overcome the current circumstances, especially after the adoption of the new salary scale law.”

Mgr. Matar noted that “the Lebanese government provides zero percent help for private schools while European countries help private schools by 70 to 80 percent. As for the United States, private educational institutions depend on grants and donations.”

The purpose of the foundation is to provide assistance for Sagesse schools and promote cultural exchange.