Tag Archives: Egypt

Valuable Girl Project Kicks Off New Session in Assiut

Leaders from the government, civil society, religious and other sectors joined in welcoming the launch of the new project session in Assiut.

Coptic Orphans launched a new session of its Valuable Girl Project in Assiut on October 17, 2017, with the presence of over 100 project beneficiaries, government dignitaries, religious leaders, representatives of key non-governmental organizations, and members of the press.

The chairpersons of seven community development associations (CDAs) signed contracts at the kick-off event, which was held in the hall of Assuit’s governorate, to mark their partnership with Coptic Orphans to implement the project.

The Valuable Girl Project aims at empowering vulnerable girls who are at risk of dropping out of school by overcoming obstacles to their efforts to learn, thrive, and become change-makers in their own communities. Coptic Orphans will carry out the Valuable Girl Project in various communities in Qena, Assiut, and Cairo in coordination with the local office of the Ministry of Social Solidarity (MOSS), and in partnership with local CDAs.

The event was held under the auspices of the governor of Assiut, who personally attended along top officials and key figures from the governorate. These included undersecretaries of MOSS,  endowments (awkaf), of education and of sport and youth. Also in attendance were the governor’s adviser on CDAs and international organizations, Christian and Muslim religious figures, the rapporteur-general of the National Council of Women, the president of regional union of Assuit’s NGOs, and media representatives.

The Valuable Girl Project’s approach involves high school and university-level “Big Sisters” engaging elementary school “Little Sisters” in one-on-one mentoring and a variety of activities that facilitate the development of critical life skills and values, such as leadership, initiative-taking, critical thinking, and citizenship. Each Big Sister receives a stipend towards her educational expenses; each Little Sister receives help with homework as the pair meet two times a week in a quiet, peaceful environment conducive to personal and academic growth and development.

The October 17 event started with national anthem, which was followed by words of welcome from Coptic Orphans Executive Director Nermien Riad. She thanked the governor for his support, and expressed gratitude to the undersecretaries of MOSS for helping the relevant CDAs get official approval.

Next on the agenda was a presentation about the Valuable Girl Project, which included an introduction to Coptic Orphans, its goals, and the philosophy of the project.

A series of speeches by the honored guests displayed the depth of support the project enjoys in Assiut.

  • Dr. Fatma Al Khiat, undersecretary of MOSS in Assiut, thanked Coptic Orphans and welcomed cooperation with the organization. She explained the role of MOSS in relation to civil society organizations and expressed support for the “honest work” which has a good impact on the community.
  • His Eminence Sheikh Abd Al Nasser, undersecretary of endowments, praised women’s education, saying: “The girls are the future mothers.” He quoted verses from Bible and Qur’an which support his words, and he urged this in attendance to join hands in support of the Valuable Girl Project and its success.
  • Father Thaofiles, the deputy of Bishop Younas, praised the role of Coptic Orphans and affirmed the importance of education, quoting verses of the Holy Bible.
  • Father Marcos, the deputy of Bishop Kirollos, affirmed the importance of development in Egypt and the vital need to work together.
  • The rapporteur-general of the National Council of Women expressed her happiness with implementing the project in the governorate, especially since the president of Egypt had designated 2017 the “Year of the Woman.”
  • The governor of Assiut noted his unprecedented attendance at such an event, and insisted on addressing the assembled guests. He thanked Coptic Orphans and its board, and further expressed happiness at the goals and concept of the Valuable Girl Project. He spoke about the problem of students dropping out of school, and its negative consequences and causes. He praised the project for giving a monthly stipend to the “Big Sisters” to help empower her to continue her education.

Following the governor’s words, the chairpersons of the seven partner CDAs signed their contracts and received additional relevant documents.


  • The Governor of Assiut
  • The undersecretary of MOSS,
  • The undersecretary endowments (awkaf)
  • The undersecretary education
  • The undersecretary sport and youth
  • The Governor’s adviser of CDAs and international organizations
  • The Rapporteur-General of national council or women
  • The president of regional union of Assiut’s NGOs
  • The deputy of Bishop Younas
  • The deputy of Bishop Kirollos
  • The officer of NGOs and two social workers
  • 30 employees from the MOSS directorate, public relations, the Ministry of Sport, the Youth the Ministry of Education, and the Assiut National Council of Women.
  • 22 representatives of the print and digital media
  • 7 chairpersons of 7 partner CDAs
  • 9 board members of 7 partner CDAs
  • 33 CDAs staff of the Valuable Girl Project

Photos of the Event

Media coverage

The event received a lot of media coverage.

Press coverage

Below are the links to Egyptian press coverage of the event in Assiut. The first link is to Elwatan News, which is the most widely read here in Egypt.







Local TV and Radio

The Alnahar, CBC, and Upper Egypt TV channels interviewed one of the project field coordinators.

Local Radio

Minya Radio interviewed the same field coordinator about the Valuable Girl Project

Cycling for the Children Raises Funds, Spirits in California!

Gearing up in California to support the children in Egypt!

Dear Friends,

When Coptic Orphans supporter Lara Mikhail from Tarzana, CA, reached out with her idea of hosting a SoulCycle fundraising event, I was thrilled, but when I actually saw the pictures and read her email about how the event went, I had to share it with you. I’m constantly amazed at how the cause of educating orphaned children in Egypt can create a spirit of generosity that transcends continents. As participant Sawsan Rafidi said: “The donors participated in a fitness program and the recipients were helped with much-needed funds . The event brought together kids and adults of all ages, cementing family ties and friendships. It made us make new friends in the spirit of giving.”

— Nermien Riad

Firstly, I’d like to thank every single person who made the long drive out to SoulCycle Brentwood on that hot Saturday afternoon. Thank you for deciding that it was worth sweating buckets and doing something that you’ve never done before in order to make a difference. The money that was raised will make a huge difference in the lives of many Coptic orphans.

A year ago, I was seeing SoulCycle everywhere; every drive down to the west side of Los Angeles we were passing multiple branches, and pictures of the trendy yellow cycles and neon signs were dominating my Instagram feed. At the start of the summer, I finally decided that I needed to see what the hysteria was all about. Walking into my class at SoulCycle West Hollywood, I saw such a diverse group of people. I could see how it has formed a community; people of all backgrounds united by cycling.

This past year has been extremely focused on diversity, tolerance, and peace in the wake of many hate crimes and terrorist acts. Despite all the terrible things happening around us, as Christians, we must have faith.  The major attacks against Coptic Christians in the past few months have significantly affected me. How can such tragedies happen on God’s watch? Where is all the love in the world? What struck me most is how little the media is covering these horrific attacks. How are the people lost in Manchester worth over a week of coverage while the 28 Copts brutally shot on their way to pray only deserve a place in the news ticker? I decided that despite my strong faith, it is not enough. I needed to take action, not only to raise money to help the children, some of whom were orphaned as a result of these attacks, but also to raise awareness of the situation of Coptic Christians.

The event itself was simple to put on. Through conversations with family and friends, and through my social media, I let everyone know that by showing up at SoulCycle on June 10, they could make a difference for fatherless Coptic children in some of Egypt’s poorest communities! Each person gave a gift to take part, and that money is now supporting the 10,000 children who receive love and mentoring from Church-based Coptic Orphans volunteers, as well as access to quality education such as private tutoring and school supplies. It was a big success: over 50 people showed up to cycle, sweat, and support the children!

Here are some of the reactions people had to participating:

“It was especially important for me to attend and support Coptic orphans who have lost everything. The least I can do for my brothers and sisters in Christ is help provide for their needs. They are entitled to a peaceful life and to partake in helping them reach that goal is very satisfying. Our every bit of donation helps! The Bible says, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.’ (James 2:14-17).” ~ Alina Ovesepyan

“I didn’t really know anything about Coptic orphans or their treatment in Egypt before, but then when I was invited to the SoulCycle event I looked up Coptic Orphans and I found out about what the organization does to help the Coptic widows and orphans in Egypt. It was really interesting to see the issues that exist and how Coptic Orphans is helping support families and I’m glad I got to help out in a small way.” ~ Gabi Berchtold

“It was my first time soul cycling; the experience was overall amazing and fulfilling as I knew it was all for a great cause. We live so caught up in our own lifestyle that we forget to do things that benefit others. This event was a reminder that taking a minute of your day can sure make a difference. It was rewarding in so many levels. Rewarding for me and for someone in need.” ~ Sandy Zelada

“My heart broke when I read about all the children that are only technically ‘orphaned,’ not because both their parents are dead… but because the widowed mothers cannot afford to feed their children. Horrific evil and injustice pervade this world every day and I am often blinded and demoralized by this. I lose my drive; I lose my hope. But then I meet people like you. And I am reminded that there is beauty and love and something worth fighting for here still. Changing the lives of ten or two or one of these orphans is changing the world. It’s changing their world and the value in that is unquantifiable.” ~ Molly Dent

“We are aware that the Coptic people are targeted against and so may innocent people are suffering and being killed from hate crimes. We had a great time and it felt so good to sweat it all out for a great cause!” ~ Natasha Mandelman

I truly believe that my generation has the power to make a difference. I’m amazed every day by my peers who are actively participating in their community and so persistent in their determination to change the world.  For this reason, I chose SoulCycle as my platform for fundraising in order to attract more young people and make them more aware of my mission. It is extremely important for all teens to know about this situation in Egypt so that they can be active in helping the Coptic Christian community and promoting love and tolerance.

I hope that this event inspires other young Egyptians to get involved. There are so many creative ways of fundraising, and hosting a SoulCycle charity ride was fun and easy. My ride for Egypt was much more than raising money; I raised awareness.

If you would like to host a fundraising event for Coptic Orphans, please send us your idea at info@copticorphans.org. Thank you, and may God bless you!

Here’s a Free Way You Can Help the Kids in Egypt Every Time You Shop Online!

Did you know that last year, generous and conscientious online Christmas buyers and sellers raised over $3,400 for the children in Egypt?

That’s enough to extend the benefits of Coptic Orphans’ programs — quality education, better housing, medical care, mentoring — to 5 new children for a full year. Imagine changing the lives of 5 children just by shopping online!

But this opportunity isn’t just about Christmas! Now, you can support Coptic Orphans’ kids all year round by using major online retailers.If you’re anything like me, you’re doing most of your shopping online. It’s convenient, hassle-free, and it lets you do something that you can’t do in a store — send this “free” money to support the children of Egypt.

Here’s how you can do it. Many online retailers, like Amazon, will donate to the nonprofit of your choice just for shopping on their site. Others, like eBay, give you the option to easily donate every time you buy or sell on their site. It’s free. All you have to do is choose which nonprofit your donation will go to. You can choose Coptic Orphans, so that your purchases are transformed into quality education, health care, and many other benefits that help children grow up stronger and break the cycle of poverty.

Many online retailers have gift-giving programs, and each one is a little different. To make it easier, I’m going to tell you about the two biggest ones, eBay Giving Works and AmazonSmile.eBay Giving Works is an easy and convenient way of giving a little bit every time you buy or sell on eBay. The next time you’re about to check out on eBay, you’ll have the opportunity to choose and follow Coptic Orphans from a drop-down menu. Alternatively, you can follow Coptic Orphans on eBay by clicking here. And once you follow us, eBay will save your preferences and you’ll find our name pre-selected for you every time you check out on their site.

Sellers on eBay will have the opportunity to give a percentage of their sales to their favorite nonprofit. eBay will prorate listing fees based off of percentage donated. To learn more about how eBay promotes selling for charities, visit the eBay for Charity page here.
Amazon Smile is very simple. Every time you buy an item using smile.amazon.com, .5% of your purchase goes to a pre-selected nonprofit organization. You don’t have to pay a single extra penny. On your first visit to AmazonSmile, you will be prompted to select a charitable organization from a list of eligible organizations, search for Coptic Orphans and you’re good to go. But remember, this only works if you use smile.amazon.com, so add it to your favorites list!

Thank you for shopping online in this simple, easy, free way that can bring so much joy to children in Egypt!