Education in Egypt: Teaching mums, teaching kids

We know you long to see an end to poverty, inequality and conflict in the Middle East. We believe education is key to creating hope for the future. Lydia Nash, our Egypt Programmes and Partnerships Manager, writes of how your support is bringing that hope.

On the surface, Egypt’s educational system looks as though it works. All children have the right to go to school, and enrolment rates are reasonable. More than 90% of children attend primary school, with most of those staying in education up to the age of 14.

But, in 2017, the World Economic Forum ranked Egypt 133rd out of 137 countries for the quality of primary education. Children might be going to school every day, but are coming home without much improvement to their skills.

Our partners’ experience backs this up; they meet children who have been to school but can’t read, write or count. But they are creating opportunities for people of all ages to discover the excitement of learning.

Education in Egypt: Teaching mums, teaching kids
Lydia, right, met women at the Life School and heard first-hand the difference your support is making to them and their families.

Lydia met Yadira, who lives in a very poor village in Egypt: I got a chance to talk to her when I visited our partner Think and Do, where they work in the community.

Yadira told me about her young daughter, who goes to school every day but is still struggling to learn to read and write. She told me that the only way to make sure your children learn these basic skills is to pay for extra tutoring. Not only is this too expensive for families like Yadira’s, but the tutors are often the same teachers who haven’t helped the kids learn in school! Yadira was frustrated that she wasn’t able to teach her daughter herself – like many women and girls, she had been prevented by her family from completing her education. But, thanks to you, Yadira is learning to read and write – and she’s determined to help her daughter do the same. Think and Do runs a project called Life School, aimed at adult women who missed out on education when they were younger. The Life School in Yadira’s village had only been up and running for a month, but she and the other students could all now write their names and do simple sums. I asked the group why they wanted to attend, and again and again I got the same response: ‘I want to help my children with their school work.’

Life School is one of those inspiring projects that makes a lasting difference, not only to the people who take part, but to the next generation too.

Thanks to your support, women and children gain the confidence, dignity and earning power that come from being able to read and write.

Words for Women is one of our Alternative Gifts – that helps a woman like Yadira to read, write and add up, opening doors to self-confidence, independence and the ability to help their children with their homework.

When you buy an Alternative Gift we send you a gift card to pass on. It has a description of the gift, a bookmark and a space for your personal message from you.

You are making a donation on their behalf to Embrace that will support Middle East Christians who put the love of Christ into practical action, relieving suffering and bringing hope.

Visit our webshop now and maybe give Words for Women to the women and teachers in your life who you know have a heart for compassion and education.

A version of this article first appeared in our Summer 2018 magazine.