Valuable Girl: Empower 100,000 Girls in Egypt

by Coptic Orphans
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Valuable Girl: Empower 100,000 Girls in Egypt
Valuable Girl: Empower 100,000 Girls in Egypt
Valuable Girl: Empower 100,000 Girls in Egypt
Valuable Girl: Empower 100,000 Girls in Egypt
Valuable Girl: Empower 100,000 Girls in Egypt
Valuable Girl: Empower 100,000 Girls in Egypt
Valuable Girl: Empower 100,000 Girls in Egypt
Valuable Girl: Empower 100,000 Girls in Egypt
Valuable Girl: Empower 100,000 Girls in Egypt
Valuable Girl: Empower 100,000 Girls in Egypt
Valuable Girl: Empower 100,000 Girls in Egypt
Valuable Girl: Empower 100,000 Girls in Egypt
Valuable Girl: Empower 100,000 Girls in Egypt
Valuable Girl: Empower 100,000 Girls in Egypt
Valuable Girl: Empower 100,000 Girls in Egypt

Dear friend,

As you know, one of the main goals of our ‘Valuable Girl Project’ is empowering the leadership skills of young girls in Egypt. Among this, the girls inspire one another through Community-based initiatives to help look outside themselves in how they can benefit their own communities. For this specific initiative, the sisters teamed up with a uniquely wonderful idea to build an awning which would be utilized as a shaded resting area at the local boat-docking station in Qena.

The docking station had been known for where village fisherman, street sellers and locals would wait 2-3 hours in the scorching sun for their boat rides. Our fiercely determined girls did everything they can reaching out to government and local village officials to get approval for building two awnings - one on each side of the river.

The girls worked together with the help of local village man-power to build and install the roofing on the awning frame. It was challenging work, they were determined to complete it for the love of their village locals. A local village man created a post on FB expressing massive gratitude for the volunteers who built the awning (linked in article) - the post translates as follows:

"I still don’t know who the volunteers are, but I will post a thank you note here, and hopefully it will reach them. Due to my work, I pass by this area every day, and I see many people, old people, women, and children, who cannot stand in the sun or otherwise waiting for the ferry. So thank you very much to the group. Whoever built this awning and also built one like it in the West, really, I mean, may God bless you, and I hope that they spread the idea further and do it in other public places like this. All I know is that they are girls, volunteers, and among them are children, and they have a supervising teacher. I hope whoever knows them will inform them that all the people who pass daily liked the idea very much and were happy with it "

The girls were beyond thrilled with the finished product and even more with the village's reaction to it. They built this beautifully functional rest area for their community which became a powerful symbol of why volunteering, mentorship is utterly priceless. While setting an example of looking outside themselves, they also gained confidence and determination that they can achieve all goals they set for themselves and show what's possible.


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Women Attending a Workshop
Women Attending a Workshop

Dear friend,  

As always, thank you for your continued support for the Valuable Girl Project.  

As you may know, the Valuable Girl Project cycle is two years long. We create a baseline, midline, and endline report for each cycle to better track the Project’s benefits and girls’ progress over the course of the two years. We have reached the end of the first half of this cycle, which means it’s time to reflect on the progress made while looking forward to the coming year! 

According to our most recent assessment, Big Sisters stated they believe men are better leaders than women. It’s up to us to change that mentality! As a result, we held a three-day training workshop for the “sisters” on gender equality and empowering women 

By highlighting female leadership in society, we demonstrate the realm of possibilities the “sisters” can be inspired by. They draw from real-life examples and envision who they can be. The workshop challenged the common misconception that women cannot assume leadership positions in their communities and laid down seeds to embrace the concept of equality 

This quarter, Big and Little Sisters, along with mothers of the Little Sisters, also celebrated International Women’s Day and Egyptian Mother’s Day. They participated in activities to raise awareness against the harmful effects of female genital mutilation (FGM/C) and early marriage. 

Thank you for your great support to show vulnerable girls and young women in Egypt that they can be leaders! 

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Introductory Seminar in Minya
Introductory Seminar in Minya

This quarter, we held introductory seminars for new Community Development Associations (CDAs) who recently applied to be a part of the Valuable Girl Project. Five introductory seminars took place in Minya, Assiut, Sohag, Qena, and Luxor with a total of 633 attendees from 395 CDAs. 

CDAs are local grassroots nonprofits that focus on specific areas of development within their communities, such as women’s rights. We provide each CDA with a grant and specialized training, and the CDA recruits the girls. Mentorship sessions and other activities are carried out at a CDA-affiliated venue, where the girls learn their skills one-on-one in workshops and other activities that tackle community problems.

The seminars included an information session on the new application for the upcoming cycle, as well as live testimonials from local community leaders and girls and young women who have previously participated in the program.

One of the most powerful testimonials came from a Little Sister’s father who is also a well-respected Sheikh in one of our project locations. In the Sheikh’s testimonial, he shared the following: 

“My little daughter goes to an Islamic school. She had never dealt with Christians before joining the Valuable Girl Project. Her Christian Big Sister didn’t just help her study, she also had a remarkable impact on her socially and psychologically. The Valuable Girl Project should expand to be implemented in public schools as well, not just CDAs.”

For our current project cycle, we partner with twenty CDAs throughout Qena, Assiut, Minya, and Cairo. It’s a great blessing to have hundreds of interested applications for our next cycle. It shows that Valuable Girl makes a real impact—not just on the girls and young women participating, but on the whole community around them.

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Little Sisters Learning Computer Skills
Little Sisters Learning Computer Skills

We have some incredible news this quarter about our valuable girls.

Many Little Sisters in our program have been asking to learn new computer skills. With the need for computer fluency higher than ever, it only made sense. So we turned to our Future Leaders to organize and implement the perfect workshop for them. 

Future Leaders, university students in another Coptic Orphans program who have gone against all odds and excel academically, volunteer for others in their spare time. For this particular need, they put their heads together and planned the perfect workshop.  

At the workshop last month, Future Leaders designed and delivered a computer curriculum for the Little Sisters with basic knowledge about programs like Paint, Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, and internet safety tips. They even handmade cardboard keyboards for the girls to take home and study! 

650 Little Sisters attended the workshop in three different governorates: Cairo, Minya, and Assiut. 

The importance of a workshop like this can’t be understated. Computer literacy can be easy for us to take for granted, and we are so pleased more girls will grow up ready to participate in the digital world. 

In fact, one Little Sister’s mother was so happy her daughter learned computer literacy, she came in and asked to be taught herself! 

Thanks to your support, Little Sisters will begin the new school year more prepared to use digital classroom tools.  

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Education is at the core of the Valuable Girl Project’s mission, but the project does much more than provide your typical math, science, and language classes. 

Workshops on character-building are central to achieving the successes Valuable Girl has doled out in the past; namely, improving girls’ self-image, increased social and civic engagement, and empowerment on multiple levels of their everyday lives. 

Most recently, we were overjoyed to present our girls with a new initiative, Reaching your Dreams, which was developed specifically for young women getting their technical education.  

The initiative included seven workshops on many topics like financial literacy, psychological support, and improving their self-image. 

With the help of all twenty of our partner community development associations, the first workshop took place over the course of three days. This workshop centered around forming a positive self-image. 

Girls and young women responded with positive feedback, with one Big Sister telling us “For five years, I haven’t looked at myself in the mirror because I saw myself as ugly. After the training I started to look in the mirror again, I started to tell myself how I am beautifully created.” 

Can you imagine not being able to look at yourself in the mirror for five years of your life? 

A positive self-image is crucial for every child. For girls and young women, particularly in Egypt, it can be the difference of a lifetime.  

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Organization Information

Coptic Orphans

Location: Merrifield, Virginia - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @copticorphans
Project Leader:
Nermien Riad
Merrifield , Virginia United States
$196,508 raised of $300,000 goal
366 donations
$103,492 to go
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