POSTED BY YASMIN REDA
I have never seen Egypt the way I did on the morning of February, 11th 2011. People were happy, optimistic, cleaning the streets, spreading awareness campaigns… even the sun seemed brighter. Egypt was full of hope and a will to change. But now it seems like it was all just a dream. On any given day you might get yelled at by an angry passerby – for no good reason either, or you can feel suffocated and disgusted by the amount of garbage in the street, or someone might even throw a bottle at you just because he felt like it (true story). Or worse, all of the above.
A new Egypt calls for a new attitude and this can’t be what we had a revolution for. We rose up for fairness, equity, beauty and for a good life. Sometimes no number of elections or protests will change an individual’s perspective towards life or behaviour towards others. But sometimes too small initiatives can lead to big changes.
Sahwet Masry is an initiative by the IDRAK program, all under the umbrella of Masr El Kheir, aiming to “improve and revive the behaviors and the character of Egyptian citizens”. The project targets underprivileged groups of the community which include those who didn’t get a chance to go to schools, the disabled and the unemployed, all to unleash their hidden potential, as the IDARK team explains.
The idea of the initiative is to start by tackling one area at a time. Today they start with Hawamdeya, a slum near Bahr El Azam street. Sahwet Masry seeks to discover the potential in 115 underprivileged women who live in Hawamdeya. To achieve their goal, the team will provide the women with specialised sessions to help them make the best of their natural talent.
The team hopes they could find dedicated and eager volunteers to take an hour or two out of their week to help in making a real difference. The volunteers can help in the following sessions:
1. Teaching basic English language;
2. Teaching advanced Arabic sessions;
3. Preparing and facilitating awareness sessions (political awareness, health awareness, religious awareness, morals/ethics, social awareness, soft skills);
4. Creating a design to be used in a product; or
5. Participating in publicising and implementing the marketing plan for the products produced by the workshop.
I myself choose to volunteer in English and design and use what ever skills I have to help Hawamdeya. What will you volunteer in?
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to join.