About Us

CEPAL is an independent Canadian NGO and charity, founded in 1995 by Canadians active in development circles in Lebanon. CEPAL traditionally organized supplementary teaching programs at camps in Lebanon, in league with Lebanese NGOs who shared  our mission of quality education for refugees. CEPAL has taken on a second life recently, aiming now to  offer on-line tutoring in Canada as well as face to face teaching programs in Lebanon. 

Board of Directors

CEPAL is run by an Executive Board of Directors whose objectives are to lead and manage the activities of the organization.  Directors are voted in by CEPAL’s members every year at the Annual General Meeting.  They typically come from a variety of backgrounds, either as past overseas teachers, volunteers, or supporters of CEPAL.


Henry Zaccak, President

Henry joined CEPAL’s board of directors more than a decade ago, following his first experience volunteer teaching at a refugee camp in the Beqaa Valley, Lebanon. His commitments have since extended to a variety of charities and non-profit organizations in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Henry also has a passion for building software products and services that improve the wellness of others. He has a Masters in Health Informatics from the University of Waterloo. He also has an Hon. B.Sc. in Computer Science: Software Engineering from the University of Toronto and is a PMP Certified Project Manager.

Robert Assaly, Treasurer

Robert is a priest in Montreal. He served for three years in the ‘90s as Director of the Jerusalem office of the Middle East Council of Churches and Vicar of Gaza. He holds three degrees, one in Middle East and Islamic history. Robert had been vice-chair of a UN committee on Palestinian rights. Having experienced first-hand the essential role of religion in Middle East peacemaking and religious extremism in war-making, he is committed to strengthening the Canadian churches in their partnerships with the region’s churches and other civil society organizations, not least those which serve in the camps in Lebanon.

John Doyle, Secretary

John has been CEPAL’s Secretary since 2020. Earlier, he directed specialized training programs for visiting groups of managers or students at the University of Alberta. In 2014, he also began teaching LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers) classes in Edmonton. In 2019 and post-retirement, he was a volunteer teacher at Rashidieh and Burj al-Shamali camps in Sour, Lebanon. Earlier, John was a Programs Coordinator for Canada World Youth and manager of the translation bureau at MOSAIC, an immigrant and refugee service agency in East Vancouver. Currently John is working to collaborate on programs to support refugee education in Lebanon and Jordan, and to raise awareness in Canada of young Palestinians’ imperiled access to schooling.

Doaa Abou Hussein, Director at Large

Doaa joined the board in March 2023, and her initial aim is to shape a framework for an effective needs assessment of partner NGOs in Lebanon. She is based in Toronto and is passionate about harnessing the potential of students around the world via universal access to quality education. She also is passionate about climate action, and has spent the past eight years working to support the natural resource sector’s advancement in the clean energy transition.


We also are looking to build up our board and welcome expressions of interest from potential new board or committee volunteers. Two positions which we are especially looking to fill are those of international partnerships Director and an e-communications committee lead, to lead CEPAL into our shared social media-shaped environment.