Remembering the Children Who Lost Their Fathers in Libya

141210_Libya Kids

We all remember with sadness the killings of seven Copts in Libya in February of this year. Fortunately, many of you also remembered the bereaved families left behind.

When that terrible news reached the world, people began calling our office saying: “I want to help the kids who lost their fathers in Libya.”

I love it when our community takes the lead in this way. It shows our Egyptian heritage at our best and most compassionate. Coptic Orphans was already reaching out to the bereaved families, while respecting their privacy at such a difficult time. But the initiative to help — the “crowdsourcing,” as our young people would say — came from you.

Because accountability and transparency are very important to us, I wanted to share this information as an update:

Four families who tragically lost their fathers in the crime, all of them from the Sohag area in the diocese of H.G. Bishop Bakhoum, are benefiting from the $17,000 contributed by you and other generous Coptic Orphans supporters.

His Grace deposited the $17,000 in a bank account, where it is being held for the children of these families for when they come of age.

Additional donations from other kind donors and generous Church bodies have been distributed among three of the families to help them get through this difficult period of mourning and rebuilding.

The fourth family, whose mother had to leave the area where the above mentioned funds were distributed, has yet to receive this type of support. However, she has three children who will be enrolled in our Not Alone program in April, and they will be taken care of in the long term through this program.

Once the children of the fourth family come of age, they will also benefit from the money in the account created for them by H.G. Bishop Bakhoum.

Thank you for keeping these families in your prayers. Whether you’re sponsoring a child, made a special contribution to help the Libya orphans, or have helped in other ways, you’re part of the bigger whole, the community that stands for and protects our brothers and sisters in Egypt.

If you, like me, are concerned about the big picture for our brothers and sisters, please see How Can We Defend Christians? from my remarks at the first In Defense of Christians summit.

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.