Category Archives: Approaches to Charity and Development

Dreams Became Realities

Pictured above: a group of our 2017 Future Leaders Scholarship Recipients

Dear Friends,

I pray that you had a blessed start to your new year, and continue to witness God’s gracious blessings as we approach the joyous Feast of the Nativity in just a few days. With the culmination of 2017 behind us, we are encouraged by the goodness of our mighty God as we saw His hands work through our children, mothers, and volunteer Reps this past year. I wanted to share with you some of the wonderful highlights from this past year, so you too, could share in our joy.

At Coptic Orphans, we believe that growing a new generation of leaders is the key to survival of our Coptic culture and community in Egypt. Fundamental to nurturing new leaders in Egypt, is education; particularly higher education. I am happy to report that during 2017, 361 of our bright youth were Thanaweya Amma students and 235 students from Not Alone graduated from university! This is by no means an easy accomplishment, as our youth have faced many challenges including the insurmountable fate of losing one or both parents, in the midst of living in poverty during the rising economic crisis.

Despite this, many of our hard-working young men and women have won key scholarships for public and private universities, English language scholarships, among others. We introduced the Future Leaders Initiative to capture and highlight the additional activities and initiatives taken by Not Alone’s specially trained staff and Church-based volunteer Reps, to identify the most promising and distinguished participants. In 2017, of our many distinguished students, 34 received Future Leader Scholarships, which helped equip them to excel and reach their full potential to become future leaders and change-makers in their communities.  These scholarships played a huge role in boosting their self-confidence, helped them feel valued, and enabled them to make their dreams of obtaining a higher education become realities.

We are so proud of all our children, and especially of our distinguished students—not only for their determination to excel and succeed in their studies, but also because they each chose to selflessly give back to their communities by volunteering with their local churches or universities in more than one activity throughout this past year.

In other exciting news, by God’s grace and your generous support, 932 new children joined our Not Alone program in 2017. We look onwards to this New Year and are hopeful of the amazing things God has in store for each one His children.

 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me,“Write, for these words are true and faithful.” And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.” Revelation 21: 5-7

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.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered… Valuable Girl Power Wins a Post Office

Never underestimate the girls of Egypt!

Your support for the Valuable Girl Project means a group of determined girls were able to send a big message about their power to make change – through the mail!

What’s more, in the process, they helped their fellow villagers avoid sexual harassment and the dangers of a perilous highway. Here’s how it unfolded:

After the young women in the Mahaba Coptic Orthodox Association for Development & Environment received civic education training through the Valuable Girl Project, they started to contribute to solving their community’s problems. These 20 youths, aged 15-26, believed that they could make one of their neighbors’ dreams come true, there in the village of Al Amodain.

The village, with a population of 30,000, lacked a post office. As it happens, the mail is a lifeline for the community members — it’s the means by which they can get their government pension, transfer money, and receive letters from loved ones.

Without a postal facility in their own village, they had to go to the post office in Atsa, 5km away. It cost the Al Amodain villagers too much to go back and forth, and on top of that, Atsa’s post office was often crowded. Things were apt to heat up inside, especially after a vendetta sparked tensions between the two villages. In fact, the Al Amodain villagers were forced to go to an even more distant post office just to avoid potential conflict.

The Valuable Girls took the initiative to raise people’s awareness about their rights. They also addressed the local government officials, advocating for a post office in Al Amodain. It took many discussions with the officials, but in the end, they approved the construction of a post office. The girls and the local authorities took on the cost of building the new facility, and they raised 100,000 EGP.

When, in the end, the new post office officially opened in February 2016, it was proof to the entire village that despite the obstacles society place in their path, girls can indeed make history as much as men can!

“My mom suffered 2-3 times per month when she went to the post office to get the money sent by my dad, who works in El Suez,” said Mary, adding, “My mom now tells me: ‘Finally, I don’t have to suffer from traveling and sexual harassment each month!’”

“The way to the nearest post office used to be called ‘The Way to Hell’ because of the many accidents that happened to people traveling on this highway,” said another Valuable Girl, Salma. “Now I’m proud of myself as well as the other girls that we were able to positively contribute to our community.”

Thank you for continuing to support for the Valuable Girl Project, and let’s keep educating Egypt’s brilliant children!