Valuable Girl Project: Finding Peace in Times of Turbulence

Big Sisters receive training in how to mentor their Little Sisters in the Valuable Girl Project.
Big Sisters receive training in how to mentor their Little Sisters in the Valuable Girl Project.

I’m traveling in Egypt this month, visiting our children and partners, and it’s no secret that these are not the easiest of times here.

In places, economic pressures are causing the fabric of society to fray. In these times, the work of the Valuable Girl Project is most important, for it is precisely the values of tolerance that ease social discord that are most needed. The project puts that tolerance front and center by involving both Muslim and Christian girls in Big Sister-Little Sister pairings.

At the same time, the stresses of day to day life can take their toll on both the project coordinators and the girls themselves. For that reason, the project team recently held a session for coordinators on how to relax, achieve a peaceful state, and ease the pressure they’re under. The older sisters who took part enjoyed the session so much that they asked that a similar one be held for the younger sisters, but with a focus on nurturing charity.

At the same time, to avoid being blind to the actual security issues and other challenges facing Egyptians today, the team trained coordinators in how to deal with insecurity, how to manage problems as they arise, how to plan meetings more effectively, and how to improve their monitoring and evaluation.

With this focus on balancing inner peace and outward wariness, the actual work of facilitating Big Sister-Little Sister relationships continues. Thank you for keeping the faith in this important work of tolerance-building and empowering young women.

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.