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.
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.
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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