How Could $2 A Day Change Things?

In my Field Update this month, I mentioned that the other day someone asked me: “If Coptic Orphans is reaching children who live on less than $2 a day, and that means extreme poverty, how does $50 a month—which is still less than $2 a day—make such a difference?”

Girls can change their villages when they gain education

A big part of the answer is education, and I shared the stories of two girls I visited in Lower Egypt last month.

By the way, if you don’t get my field updates, email us at info@copticorphans.org and we’ll sign you up.

In any case, the first story was about a girl who came from an illiterate, orphaned family. Yet she became the first “Christian girl [who] came in at the top of the class in the history of the [business] college,” as the field staff told me during our visit.

The second girl I met isn’t in college. I believe she will be one day, but even if she never does, what she has done so far is enough to change her life forever… and make big waves in her village.

6 months ago we moved into a brand new area of Egypt, the village of Awlad Sakr in Lower Egypt. It’s a village without electricity, and without running water. Hardly anyone in the village knows how to read at all.

Sara’s older siblings all dropped out of school. Sara wanted to stay and learn, but her school doesn’t teach anything. Her village is so remote, there are no tutors. Then Coptic Orphans came.

We connected her to tutoring with the help of the closest Abouna in a neighboring village. Now she’s reading and has hopes for a career.

Again, that’s after only 6 months.

Since a mother’s education determines the poverty level of her children, Sara is changing her children’s futures. She also is opening the minds of a village where everyone expects that girls won’t read. That will open brighter futures for the whole village.

Bottom line: if we take a little money, use some to ensure bare subsistence rights and put the rest into education, we get long-term results way beyond the little we invest.

 

About Nermien Riad

Nermien Riad founded Coptic Orphans in 1988 after volunteering for an orphanage in Cairo. When she saw that most of the children had living widowed mothers who simply couldn’t afford to feed them, she gathered family and friends to sponsor children in Egypt. Today Coptic Orphans works through a network of 400+ church-based volunteers in Egypt, who visit fatherless families in their homes and make sure they get everything they need to unlock their full potential. That way, they don’t have to get married off as child brides, work as 10-year old family breadwinners, or go to live at an institutional orphanage.