The Turning Point

Voss-CopticOrphans-11 (Compressed)

Every day seemed exactly the same since her father passed away. They lived hand-to-mouth when her father was alive, but now Nadine lived in an empty shell of life: living on handouts, but with never enough to fill the stomach.

Like her mother, Nadine never learned how to read. She went day-to-day, grade-to-grade, staring at the same board in class.

Nadine was in grade four thinking it’s only a matter of time before she ends exactly in the family situation she started out with: a widowed household, poor, struggling day after day in a dark, musty home with children crying for bread.

Then, one day a young man visited them and a whole new world of possibilities opened up for Nadine after that day.

He sat on the hard wooden bench inside their mudbrick home, and gave her a small Bible story for children her age. Nadine starred at the pictures and was tongue-tied. She held back tears. She again felt the shame she felt almost every day at school and at church, but this time she was already home. There was nowhere else to hide.

But the young man, a Rep from Coptic Orphans, didn’t hit her or yell. He brought Nadine tutors, made sure Nadine’s family had food and clothing, and came every week to check her progress.

Nine years later, Nadine’s hard work was crowned by a 90.5% in high school. She’s getting ready to take the TOEFL English language exam so she can apply for a full scholarship at the American University in Cairo, one of Egypt’s renowned universities.

This once-illiterate village girl might have gotten married early and struggled on in obscurity, passing on the cycle of poverty. It’s our responsibility to step in and change lives. 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.