All posts by Nermien Riad

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.

H.G. Metropolitan Bakhomious Thanks Coptic Orphans for Working ‘According to the Biblical Understanding that Aligns with the Church’s Methods’

H.G. Metropolitan Bishop Bakhomious and H.G. Bishop Beman take part in the opening of the Coptic Orphans office in Cairo in 2007.

We were grateful and blessed this week to receive the following letter from His Grace Metropolitan Bakhomious.

Dear Coptic Orphans Staff,

Peace and grace! We pray that the Lord blesses you.

I am writing to thank you for your love and care for the fatherless children in the diocese. You provide spiritual, church, financial, and social support according to the biblical understanding that aligns with the Church’s methods; and our children who serve in the diocese also serve with you. You also care for developing the mothers and servants, by involving the diocese to monitor your work in all your activities.

We thank you again and pray that the Lord blesses your service, and that we keep our mutual work for the glory of the Lord Jesus, as children of the Coptic Orthodox Church that is the Body of Christ.

May the Lord reward your loving effort and care!

God be with you and bless you!

Metropolitan Bakhomious of Behaira and Associated Region

*The letter (a scan of which is included below) is stamped with the official stamp of the Diocese of Behaira and signed by H. G. Metropolitan Bakhomious of Behaira and Associated Region on March 6, 2017.

It is a great blessing to hear these words of support from His Grace Metropolitan Bakhomious.

I hope they are heard across the United States, Canada, Australia and beyond, by the entire Coptic Orphans family and all of our friends, relatives, and fellow Copts.

It is only by God’s grace, and thanks to your love, prayers, and support, that Coptic Orphans is able to work in partnership with His Grace Metropolitan Bakhomious and 54 other bishops in Egypt, serving the children.

Thank you.




‘I Feel Blessed to Have Had That Experience’ — Mary Helmy Reflects on Serve to Learn

Mary Helmy spending time with her students as the van takes them home after a day of learning and play.

Dear Friends,

It’s the start of March, and I’m  excited to be reading through the applications of wonderful prospective Serve to Learn volunteers. Because demand for Serve to Learn has grown, there will be two trips in the upcoming months: June 17 – July 8 AND July 22 – August 12. Applications are due by March 15. There’s nothing more heartening to me than to see young Coptic youth from all over the world deciding to spend part of their summer, or even taking time off from work, to travel to Egypt for a full 3 weeks, to serve orphaned Coptic children in Egypt.  If you’re wanting a taste of what you’ll learn on Serve to Learn, here’s recent volunteer Mary Helmy from Australia, with another “a picture is worth a 1,000 words” blog post. 

— Nermien

Who’s in this photo?

The kids and me.

Where was it taken?

The children had just finished our class and were going back home in a van.

What’s happening in the photo?

I was saying goodbye and they asked me to come back with them. I hopped in and spent a few minutes hanging out with them.

How did you feel when it was taken?

I felt like a kid hanging out with my friends enjoying every moment with them. They were so excited and full of joy and laughter. I didn’t want to say goodbye.

Why do you want to remember this moment?

Despite losing a parent, or both parents, and all the difficulties of that, the children were just enjoying being kids, having fun, full of hope. I felt close to them.

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

It’s not really about teaching English or the classroom, it’s about getting to really know the children, laughing with them, having fun, learning to let go and be a kid again. Despite all their hardships in life, they loved openly, not just me, but God. I grew to love them as well. I really wanted to go back to their homes and hang out and play with them. I feel blessed to have had that experience. One of many, many memories I’ll treasure. Thank you God.

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

If this “a picture is worth a 1,000 words” blog makes you want to read other Serve to Learn stories, here are Pheobe Azer‘s and Ryan Wasson‘s. If that’s not enough, you can read Serve to Learn  interviews with Toni, JohnGabyMinaAndyVeronikaDavidBen, Kirollos, MariamAlex, and Mirelle. You may also enjoy these video interviews with Nadine RoffaellPeter Wassef and Mary Loka.  Any questions you’d like to ask a real human being? Call or email Joyce Lancen at 703-641-8910 or at info@copticorphans.org

‘Love Always Wins’ — Nancy Gwany on Serving the Children in Egypt

Dear Friends,

Sometimes our most important realization can come from the simplest of gestures. This blog post on the theme of “a picture is worth 1,000 words” from 2016 Serve to Learn volunteer Nancy Gwany tells about a simple moment spent with the world’s greatest kids, and a profound realization about God’s love for us. 

Serve to Learn is a three-week service trip for youth from all over the world to teach kids in Egyptian villages through a variety of fun games and activities. This summer, there are TWO trips: June 17-July 8 and July 22-Aug 12. Each trip will have both English education sites and health education sites. 

— Nermien

Who’s in this photo?

Some kids from my class and one of the kids from the younger class.

Where was it taken?

The picture was taken in my classroom after the last session. We were just hanging out.

What’s happening in the photo?

I was telling the kids in my class how they were driving me crazy because they keep talking. The younger kid was pinching my cheeks like he always did. They then asked to take a picture of them driving me crazy.

How did you feel when it was taken?

I felt unconditional love. No matter how much these kids misbehaved in class, I still loved them. Nothing they do can change that.

Why do you want to remember this moment?

I want to remember that’s how God loves me. That love I felt for these kids is nothing compared to how much God loves me unconditionally.

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

Love always wins. I could count all the times the kids would drive me crazy and literally make me want to pull my hair out. But at the end of the day, I’m there to love them and love always wins.

*Names of our children are changed in order to maintain their privacy.

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

If this “a picture is worth a 1,000 words” blog makes you want to read other Serve to Learn stories, here are Pheobe Azer‘s and Ryan Wasson‘s. If that’s not enough, you can read Serve to Learn  interviews with Toni, JohnGabyMinaAndyVeronikaDavidBen, Kirollos, MariamAlex, and Mirelle. You may also enjoy these video interviews with Nadine RoffaellPeter Wassef and Mary Loka.  Any questions you’d like to ask a real human being? Call or email Joyce Lancen at 703-641-8910 or at info@copticorphans.org