Courage in Egypt


The brave men and women protesting last month were able to change the course of history for Egypt. Their courage and outspokenness must have passed on to some of our children in Egypt as well.

Most of the children in our program deal with things in their daily life, at such young age, that we couldn’t imagine.

Recently both of Manal’s parents died leaving her and her 4 siblings to be taken care of by her mute aunt. The children were able to remain in their family home, but the neighbor thought he would be able to take advantage of the children without their father’s protection.

The neighbor began making improvements on his home which would have completely covered the window and the balcony in Manal’s home. She and her aunt took the matter to the local police station to stop him from building. It was too complicated so the matter was referred to a judge.

On the day of the hearing, the neighbor had his daughter pretend to be injured.  He had his daughter lie and say that the five children had beat her up and threatened to continue if her father didn’t stop building.

The judge was beginning to believe these lies until Manal, who is just 12 years old, stood up and spoke.

She had the courage to speak up and show the judge a document her father had given her that clearly identified the building parameters. The judge believed Manal and forbade the neighbor from finishing the improvements to his home.

Our programs are giving children the confidence to stand up for themselves and their family. We are helping  to create an empowered generation of children who know their rights.

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.