Through These Kids ‘I Learned How to Love’ — Nancy Gwany Thinks Back on a Serve to Learn Transformation

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Nancy Gwany with some of her Serve to Learn kids between classes.

Dear Friends,
I have some exciting news! Applications for the Jan. 22 – Feb. 13, Serve to Learn trip are now available and are due by Nov. 15. For those of you who have never heard of Serve to Learn, here’s what it is in a nutshell: three weeks of service in Upper Egypt teaching English. During those three weeks  you will serve, teach, and play with the world’s greatest kids! You will offer them respect, hope, and love—and they will love you, and transform you. But don’t take my word for it. Here is Nancy Gwany, a volunteer from the summer 2015 Serve to Learn trip, to tell you about a love that grows so fast that it surpasses all understanding. This is another posting in our “a picture is worth a 1,000 words” series.
— Nermien

Who’s in this photo?

Me with two kids in one of my classes.

Where was it taken?

It was taken in an empty classroom between two sessions, about 15 minutes before class started.

What’s happening in the photo?

One of the boys asked to look at the pictures on my camera and then started taking some while I was hiding other pictures on my phone that they were making fun of me for.

How did you feel when it was taken?

I felt like these boys were my brothers. As they were making fun of me doing laundry by hand, they were pinching my cheeks and calling me a true Egyptian.

Why do you want to remember this moment?

I want to remember that love is not bound by time. I was confused by how much I love these boys and yet it’s only been a few weeks I’ve known them.

If you could help people understand one thing with this photo, what would it be?

I want people to know that love is a language that is understood by all. It does not discriminate based on gender, culture, appearance, language, or age. I fell in love with these boys and it’s through them that I learned how to love.

________________

Interested in learning more about Serve to Learn? Check out our page and video, which gives a snapshot of the program! 

If you’d like to help more kids in Egypt get a better education and succeed in life, please donate through our Indiegogo campaign by clicking here

If this “a picture is worth a 1,000 words” blog makes you want to read other Serve to Learn stories, here are those of Marianne SawiresJessica HannaJessica AyobPheobe, and Ryan. If that’s not enough, you can read Serve to Learn  interviews with:

 ToniJohnGabyMinaAndyVeronikaDavidBen, Kirollos, MariamAlex, and Mirelle

You may also enjoy these video interviews with NadinePeter and Mary.  Any questions you’d like to ask a real human being? Call or email Mira Fouad, who runs Serve to Learn, at 703-641-8910 or at mfouad@copticorphans.org

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.