Valuable Girl Project: Empower 1000 Girls in Egypt

Oct 19, 2011

I Can Speak Now-Sherry's Story

Dear Supporters,

I want to share with you the story of one of the girls in the Valuable Girl Project. Death is something that we all deal with but it has a different effect on all of us. Sometimes it makes us appreciate life and brings us closer to our family. Other times it makespeople go into a depression. Sherry* is now a very confident 13 year old girl who speaks clearly and looks you in the eye. But she wasn’t always this way.

Her father died unexpectantly leaving Sherry and her mother alone. Sherry was very close to her father and his death caused her to go into shock. She said despite having her mother around, she still felt helpless and alone. Her speech became slurred and very difficult to understand.

Sherry’s mother was forced to move back in with her parent’s family because they could not support themselves.

Sherry’s other aunts lived in the family home and made jokes about Sherry’s speech daily. They would tell her, “you, who can’t speak properly, be quiet.”

Read the rest of the story to find out how Sherry's life changed through VGP!


Aug 2, 2011

Creating Tolerance

Dear Supporters,

As Egypt’s future remains uncertain with political and religious unrest our Valuable Girl Project (VGP) continues to make strides to bridge tolerance and understanding between Christian and Muslims.

In Egypt it’s quite common, especially in rural areas, for people of different religions to never interact. Different cultural and religious practices often eliminate the opportunity to communicate. As people get older their fear of the unknown can sometimes develop into a full blown hatred. The goal of VGP is to empower girls and young women through educational mentoring . A positive outcome of the program has been the reduction of the communication gap between Christian and Muslim youth to gain a common understanding.

Aalia* a Big Sister participating in VGP shared her thoughts about how the program has made a difference in her life. She said, “Before my participation in the project, I used to carry negative attitudes and feeling towards Christians in general. I never used to have any Christian friends or as much as talked to my fellow Christian classmates or neighbors if I knew they were Christian. The reason I joined the project was exclusively driven by the motive to find a job…nothing else! However, upon the start of the project, I was personally touched by the love and respect my fellow Christian girls showed me.

Read the rest of the story to find out how Aalia and her family changed their tolerance through VGP!


May 4, 2011

Sharifa's Story

Dear VGP Supporters,

Girls in our Valuable Girl Project (VGP) are not only empowered to continue their education but are also nurtured to build fortitude in dealing with life challenges – challenges that most of us could hardly fathom. Our participants face challenges and turn them into shining examples of unique courage.






Let me share with you a story that touched my heart.  Recently, both of Sharifa’s parents died in an accident leaving her and her 4 younger sisters to be taken care of by her mute aunt. The children were able to remain in their family’s home, but their neighbor thought he would be able to take advantage of the children without their father’s protection, so he began making improvements in his home which would have completely blocked the only window and source of light in Sharifa’s home. 

Read the rest of the story to find out how this 13-year-old Sharifa fended for her rights. Enjoy!


Feb 3, 2011

The Valuable Girl Project 2010

The Valuable Girl Project continues to yield remarkable results.  Project sites allow girls to form a sense of close community, a basis for their academic success and support for positive social change. This sense of community also means that once Coptic Orphans plants a Valuable Girl Project, its effects continue to grow long after funding ceases.


Nov 15, 2010

Basma's Story

Dear Supporters,

At only eight years old, Basma’s mother pulled her out of school and sent her to work at a local beauty salon
for only 20 cents a day. But Basma was a Little Sister in the Valuable Girl Project. As soon as Basma’s Big Sister from the Valuable Girl Project heard what happened, she rushed to Basma’s home. She negotiated with Basma’s mother to get Basma back in school, helping connect the family to other resources to help meet their living expenses.

Later, Basma faced another problem. When it came time to take the exam for the religious studies part of Egypt’s public school curriculum, Basma’s teacher handed her the test intended for Muslim students. When Basma protested, saying she should have received the test for Christian students, her teacher ignored her. Not surprisingly, Basma failed the test. This would hold Basma back for a year in school. But Basma’s Big Sister joined forces with their Valuable Girl Project site manager and went to the school administrator. With the error exposed, the school immediately overturned Basma’s exam scores.

The Valuable Girl Project continues to develop. In recent years, girls still enjoy one‐on‐one
academic tutoring with other girls and an oasis of social and educational freedom at local program
centers. But volunteers and staff at sites now make advocacy visits to the homes and schools of
participants like Basma to help girls take this freedom with them into daily life.


Hanan Baky
Program Specialist
Coptic Orphans
PO Box 2881
Merrifield, VA 22116


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Coptic Orphans

Merrifield, Virginia, United States

Project Leader

Nermien Riad

Merrifield, Virginia United States

Where is this project located?