Coptic Orphans

Coptic Orphans is an award-winning international Christian development organization that unlocks the God-given potential of disadvantaged children in Egypt, and so equips them to break the cycle of poverty and become change-makers in their communities. Coptic Orphans works through grassroots partner and volunteer networks to strengthen local communities for sustainable impact. Since 1988, Coptic Orphans has equipped over 30,000 children throughout Egypt.
May 29, 2012

Shenouda's Water Buffalo

Shenouda and His Family
Shenouda and His Family's Buffalo.

It has been a tumultuous year for many in Egypt. The price of cooking fuel and food have both skyrocketed. Meanwhile, the streets of many villages remain unsafe. Both have been especially hard on widowed families. This made microfinance projects funded by Coptic Orphans life-saving for many widows throughout Egypt.  

Shenouda, a 13-year-old boy from the town of Manfalout in Upper Egypt, recently became the proud father a new calf buffalo. The buffalo is not only a point of pride for Shenouda, but a real means of livelihood for him and his widowed mother.

Prudent savings from Coptic Orphans contributions enabled him to purchase the buffalo. “I bought it to help us in our life,” he says proudly as he strokes the animal. His mother has also been inspired to raise a water buffalo herself to help support the family, embodying the purpose of B'edaya.

Shenouda's mother then lead the way in their family. When she realized she could provide, she helped Shenouda become more self-sufficient, too. 

He says today that he has a deeper sense of responsibility and integrity after these experiences.

Grateful for this means to earn a living for his family and more, Shenouda plans on sharing the butter and cheese that he produces from the buffalo with others in his village.

Links:

May 10, 2012

Valuable Girl Projects Proves Its Sustainability

Girls show off hands-on crafts on training topic
Girls show off hands-on crafts on training topic

Since 2010, Coptic Orphans has been handing its sites that have continued for an initial 4-year seed period over to the hands of local partners.

Local Egyptian schools, churches, NGO's, and community development associations - the unique public village volunteer associations that look after education, healthcare, economic and social needs of each community - have carried four Valuable Girl Project sites into permanent local supervision.

Among those most recently was our site in Luxor. The indigenous Egyptian Association for Development and Vocational Training carried the site forth.

This has been proof for us that when we plant these sites around Egypt, they do have the strength to grow on their own. Villages say that the sites change their way of thinking about girls. One girl said, "before the project, I was not allowed to even cross the street and buy a coke. But now my family asks my opinion on important decisions." Every contribution helps us transform another village and community.

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In the Valuable Girl Project, Coptic Orphans builds self-esteem in girls at risk of dropping out of school in order to promote academic retention and access to civil and social rights through mentoring between “little sisters” in primary school and “big sisters” in secondary school and university.

Girls enjoy an oasis of social and educational freedom at local program centers. Advocacy visits to the homes and
schools of participants help girls take this freedom with them into daily life.

Hands-on training at same Luxor site in 2012
Hands-on training at same Luxor site in 2012

Links:

Jan 19, 2012

The Girl who Ran for Parliament

Dear Supporters,

Watani Magazine just interviewed Teresa Samir, a former Big Sister in Coptic Orphans’ Valuable Girl Project.Teresa is a remarkably young woman.

In high school she volunteered at the Valuable Girl Project center in her home town, El Barsha, meeting with girls in primary school to give them help with schoolwork and mentoring in life. Then, she became one of the site’s local coordinators, a group of volunteers responsible for administering and leading each Valuable Girl Project site in exchange for a small stipend.

She later moved to Cairo to work as a journalist, but came back to El Barsha. Teresa believes that the duty of everyone is to their local community. So she started the Masr Association for Development and Democratic Progress, a local community-building organization based in El Barsha, and started working to build up her town.

TAMKEEN, a recent partnership between Coptic Orphans and USAID that supports the efforts of local Community Development Associations in Egyptian villages and teaches them how to become more effective and

 You can read the full Watani interview in Arabic here, but do keep in mind that this does not represent the views of Coptic Orphans, which remains dedicated to our work with children who--like Teresa--have the potential to transform generations in their local communities, and not to politics.

efficient, now supports Teresa’s local development work in El Barsha.


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