Tag Archives: education

‘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

Double the Impact of Your Gift for the Kids for Free — Find Out How!

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Dear Friend,

I wanted to sincerely thank you for supporting Coptic Orphans, and to let you know that there is a way you can double or even triple the impact of your contributions — at no cost to you — through your employer’s matching gifts program.

Your employer may be one of many American firms that gladly offer matching gifts programs. Companies do this because these programs win them greater employee loyalty, tax breaks, and good public relations. In some categories of businesses, over 65% of the firms have some kind of matching gifts program. So chances are, your employer may.

A “matching gift” means that your employer matches each dollar you gave to us in 2016 with another dollar (or even more) contributed to Coptic Orphans.

Curious about doubling or tripling your gift for free? Below is a list of some major companies that include Coptic Orphans in their matching gifts programs.

If you work for one of these firms, all you have to do is ask your human resources representative, or whomever at your workplace is responsible, for a matching gifts form to fill out for a gift that you’ve already given. If you can’t find your employer on this list, you can email info@copticorphans.org and someone here will find out if the company has a matching gifts program that Coptic Orphans qualifies for.

To make things easier, I’ve linked each company below with its matching gift form or webpage, so all you have to do is click, fill out the form for your recent donations, and submit it to your human resources rep! They should take care of the rest.

Adobe Systems
ADP (Automatic Data Processing)
American Express Company
American International Group (AIG)
Amgen
Apache Canada LTD
Assured Guaranty
Avon Products
Baker Hughes
Bank of America
Bristol-Myers Squibb
Cigna
Cisco Systems
Conoco Phillips Canada
Deutsche Bank
Ericsson Inc.
Freddie Mac
Expedia.com
FrontStream
Gap Inc.
General Electric
Goldman Sachs
Google
HSBC
J.P. Morgan Chase
Juniper
Liberty Mutual Insurance
Medco Health
Medtronic
Merck
Microsoft
Morgan Stanley
Oppenheimer Funds
Oracle Corporation
Pfizer, Inc.
Pitney Bowes
Salesforce
Scientific Design Company, INC
The Capital Group Companies
Prudential 
Thomson Reuters
Tudor Investment Corporation
United States Biochemical
Union Savings Bank
Unilever USA
Verizon
VMware
Westpac
Wildlife Acoustics
Xcel Energy

Thank you for taking the time to double or even triple the impact of your charitable giving, and for your love, prayers, and support for the children of Egypt! If you have any questions, please feel free to send them to us at info@copticorphans.org.

May this Christmas season be one of joy and peace for you and your family!

She’s Making Dignity a Family Tradition

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Ireney doesn’t seem to know the meaning of the words “take it easy,” which may explain how she’s built her business into a source of family pride and dignity.

You last heard about Ireney in 2014, when I visited her in Samalout. She overwhelmed me with hospitality then, and things hadn’t changed a bit around her livestock feedstore when I saw her this summer.

Except – that’s not strictly true. Since I last saw Ireney, she’s converted her hard work, intelligence, and B’edaya loans into more progress. She has expanded her line of animal feed, flour, and fertilizer.

There in the cool, cavernous “warehouse” that’s connected to her home, she meets customers and neighbors, closes her deals, and does one more extremely important thing: she passes on her values.

Ireney is very clear: She wants her kids grow up to be hard-working in their lives and occupations. To that end, she’s begin involving her young son in accounting and helping her with the business.

It’s important for her kids to have role models, because they’re already missing one. Ireney’s husband passed away many years ago, so her guidance is all the more crucial.

Together with a specially trained Coptic Orphans volunteer — a Church-based “Rep” who comes recommended by his bishop — she’s putting her children on the path to a quality education and solid values.

Ireney’s success demonstrates what widowed mothers can achieve with access to this type of microcredit initiative. Her goal is to grow the business because “the more I can buy, the more I can sell.”

B’edaya funds these women’s income-generating projects from the ground up until they become self-sufficient. Donations cover all aspects of the loan process from beginning to end, and the money is reinvested over and over to help multiple families.

But beyond this, there is the foundation that’s being laid for a new generation. B’edaya mothers model the behaviors that give their family dignity and their children the keys to success.

To those who’ve never been there, it’s hard to grasp what Ireney is overcoming. In Samalout, and in Upper Egypt in general, traditions severely limit widows. Many end up taking charity for life.

But Ireney is breaking this mold, with your help. Two years from when I last visited her, she’s going strong. Her kids can see it, and you can feel it — in her manner, in her frequent laughter, in the prosperity of her household.

And it’s not only her household. In March, Coptic Orphans held ceremonies around Egypt honoring 42 widowed mothers. They received a total of LE243,500 (US$27,400) in microloans for their income-generating projects.

All of us at Coptic Orphans see these mothers as heroes. By God’s grace, and through your generosity, we’re honored to provide them with both microloans and coaching in entrepreneurial skills to develop their inborn perseverance, ingenuity, and business-savvy.

This is a great blessing to be part of, and the Coptic Orphans family is grateful that you’ve chosen walk with families like Ireney’s.

* The name of the B’edaya participant has been changed in this instance to protect her privacy