Sports Workshops: One Recent Volunteer Project in Egypt

With sparse tourism and continuing unrest in Egypt, some might wonder if there is any room left to experience life in Egypt and make a difference there. The good news is, there is. Things are safe enough in most areas in Egypt to go, so Coptic Orphans is resuming our International Volunteer Program for 2013.

Need ideas about what to do when you go?

How about this: imagine using one of your hobbies or skills to lead a workshop for children. Our last International Volunteer Program collaboration was with Football Beyond Borders, a student-led project organized by the University of London. Together we held two workshops for over 200 of our Not Alone Program participants with 16 volunteers from the UK.

The goal of their project was to engage the children in activities together regardless of their age, gender, or ability to build self-confidence.

Workshops that teach talents like football provide a value far greater than the skill itself. During a group discussion some of the  children began  to notice that the volunteers came from a variety of religious backgrounds.

One boy asked, “How do you love each other and play with each other like this? I wish that I could play with my Muslim neighbors the way you do!”

The volunteers didn’t miss a beat knowing the unstable  environment in Egypt and began talking to the children about the  importance of tolerance and living in peace.  They reminded the children of the fun they had today and showed them how much better it would be if people accepted each other regardless of differences.

A simple day of soccer turned into just the right talk our children needed to help them stay positive through the negative events surrounding them.

How about you? Got a skill to share in Egypt?

About Nathan Hollenbeck

Nathan joined Coptic Orphans in 2006. It was his response to a call to help return Egypt’s hospitality to the Holy Family on behalf of Christ Emmanuel and the Theotokos, after they changed his own life as a youth. He has a passion to fulfill God’s command to “bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” (Isaiah 1:17, ESV)