ETI began as a summer project conducted by its founder, Sara Minkara, when she was a student at Wellesley College. The first Camp Rafiqi took place in Tripoli, Lebanon, and was funded by the Clinton Foundation.
After being invited to the Clinton Global Initiative University, Sara was inspired to take the idea and spirit of Camp Rafiqi and transform it into a certified nonprofit organization. And so, during her senior year in college, Sara became the Founder of ETI. Since its early days, ETI has run many camps in Lebanon and the organization now consists of a full cycle of youth empowerment programs, university clubs, and various training opportunities for local organizations. This is because, after running a few camps, Sara realized that the issue of disability inclusion, and the act of integration, needed to be solved with an innovative, holistic approach.
Today, ETI has a strong team both in Lebanon and the US, working together towards ETI's mission of empowerment and integration. The Empowerment programs in Lebanon and the Middle East continue to grow and evolve as we establish the Integration programs in the US, which both raise awareness and generate revenue for ETI's work.
Although ETI has grown from existing solely as a summer camp, Camp Rafiqi remains a large aspect of ETI’s work and continues to carry the spirit of empowerment, integration, and inclusion throughout everything ETI does!