Because I am “Demiana”

tumblr_m201hban9U1rno4dlo1_1280

One afternoon, Demiana came home from school and broke down, sobbing. Her mother tried to console her and contacted Rep Mariam for support. Rep Mariam asked Demiana several questions encouraging her to tell what happened and Demiana started crying again.

Then, the story emerged.

One day in class, her teacher asked a question. When she raised her hand and answered, the teacher asked her for her name.

“Demiana.”

He exclaimed, “I ask Allah The Merciful for forgiveness!”

Demiana felt herself shaking as she stood at her desk. She knew he asked God’s forgiveness because he thought it was repulsive to have a Christian in the room.

He wasn’t done, though. He railed against “Nassara,” as Muslims refer to Christians in Egypt. He went on for what seemed like forever. Demiana felt overwhelmed. She was about to faint when the bell rang, signaling the end of class.

From that day on, Demiana felt too afraid to answer or ask another question. She knew she was not going to get the grade she worked so hard for–and deserved–that year.

“Only because my name is Demiana,” she said.

Rep Mariam contacted Demiana’s principal and arranged a meeting. She told the principal Demiana’s story. As a result, the school principle confronted the fanatic teacher, who admitted what he did, and received due discipline.

Demiana is now doing well in school because her Rep stood up for her. Our 90% volunteer workforce is not only dedicated; they are passionate advocates for the rights of children.

How are you standing with the children in Egypt? It’s time to step up and sponsor a child today.

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.