Child Sponsorship Highlight: Stitching Life Back Together
08/03/2021 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – For many Egyptian Christian families, obtaining access to quality education resources is challenging enough within a major metropolitan area. In rural areas and amongst single-parent families, these difficulties are only multiplied. For 12-year-old Gamel, school has never come easy. The youngest of five children, with three older sisters and one older brother, Gamel knew his father the least when he passed away a few years ago. Now his older brother Bassem tries to help provide for the family.
“My husband is dead, so my older son Bassem helps our family, He works in the valley with cousins. He provides us with money in addition to his father’s pension…Thanks to God.”
When Gamel first started taking classes with Hope House and joined the sponsorship program in 2019 he had been struggling greatly. Without a father at home and a poor record in public school, the instructors made sure to focus and work with Gamel. They worked through his reading, writing, and math to make sure he understood the material and was prepared for testing with Hope House, as well as in the public school.
Despite improvement in his overall health and schooling, after a year of shutdowns due to COVID-19, Gamel spends much of his time developing practical work skills as an apprentice. “I spend my time learning to tailor. I wake up then I eat my breakfast, then I go to the tailoring shop. Then I get back to my house to eat my lunch and go to the tailoring shop again, then I meet my friend.”
“I spend my time learning tailoring. I wake up then I eat my breakfast, then I go to the tailoring shop. Then I get back to my house to eat my lunch and go to the tailoring shop again, then I meet my friend.”
Although his mother supports his education, this attitude towards work over education tends to be the prevailing viewpoint amongst Egyptian Christian in rural villages as the odds of landing a job outside of physical labor work is already stacked against them by a repressive society that treats them as second-class citizens. For a family without a father, everyone’s contribution is valuable. Hope House’s child sponsorship program helps alleviate much of the anxiety for a family around taking on additional education costs while losing a helping hand in providing a livelihood.
Thankfully, Gamel is already fully funded through child sponsorship. Gamel’s mother has also benefited from Hope House’s job training program, teaching women valuable skills to start and run small businesses to make some extra money to supplement their family’s income allowing her children to continue in their education. There are many more students who are less fortunate and have yet to receive a sponsor.
For interviews please contact Addison Parker: firstname.lastname@example.org