Rita Rhayem is the first young female to be designated as General Director for Caritas Lebanon, one of the most prominent NGOs in Lebanon with more than 70 centers across the country. These centers provide sustainable and needs-based developmental, livelihood, economic, health, social, protection, educational, life-saving, and emergency interventions catered to vulnerable Lebanese communities, migrants, and refugee populations.
In the wake of finalizing her pharmacy studies at Saint Joseph University, the 2006 war started. Moving back to her hometown Jezzine in South of Lebanon, she worked with Doctors Without Borders. Although it was a short mission, it was still a turning point in her life where she discovered the humanitarian field and passionately felt for it. Helping people, catering for their needs, voicing out their concerns, and advocating for their rights helped her to decide that this is the path she will pursue.
After working for a short period at the American University of Beirut Medical Center as a clinical pharmacist, she joined Caritas Lebanon as Head of the Health Department, managing ten primary health care centers and many mobile medical units with more than 200 health professionals.
In addition to her Doctorate in Pharmacy, Rita obtained her diploma in Hospital and Clinical Pharmacy in 2008 from USJ, her MBA in 2011 from USJ, IAE Sorbonne, and Paris Dauphine. She, subsequently, published her book: “Accreditation of NGOs Health Care Centers”. She was SPHERE accredited and trained humanitarian workers at national and regional levels on emergencies and how to manage humanitarian crisis.
Five years in her role as General Director, she represented Caritas Lebanon in different forums worldwide. In 2017, she was the representative of the Caritas MENA members at Caritas Internationalis Humanitarian Committee- in the Vatican City. She also participated, in 2018, in drafting the Civil society part in Lebanon first Voluntary National Review (VNR) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals and participated in the official Lebanese delegation to the UN High Level Political Forum as representative of the civil society.
In 2019, Caritas Lebanon delivered direct assistance to more than 70,000 individuals and implemented developmental projects targeting more than 100.000 Lebanese.
Rita is still pursuing her Master in Interdisciplinary Gender Studies at LAU (Lebanese American University of Beirut) and is working on advancing and supporting vulnerable families through different projects and services.
To know more about Rita, visit this link.