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May Workshops and activities from CARE Egypt friendly spaces

يمكنكِ الآن الإشتراك فى الأنشطة و الورش المقدمة بالمساحات الصديقة التابعة لكير وذلك لشهر مايو 2022  فى مناطق جسر السويس – الهرم- 6 اكتوبر- الإسكندرية مصر من خلال هذا الرابط.

https://forms.gle/DwMHtwW5mEmRjQVh6

Apply now for May 2022 workshops and activities in our CARE Egypt friendly spaces.

Spaces Location: 6 October – Haram – Gisr Swis – Alexandria

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طلب التقديم للحصول على منحة لتنفيذ أنشطة مشروع “معا للقضاء على العنف ضد الطفلة والفتاة” لمواجهة العنف (ختان الاناث – الزواج الاطفال) في محافظة بنى سويف

طلب التقديم للحصول على منحة لتنفيذ أنشطة مشروع “معا للقضاء على العنف ضد الطفلة والفتاة” لمواجهة العنف (ختان الاناث – الزواج الاطفال) في محافظة بنى سويف
نبذة عن مؤسسة كير مصر
مؤسسة كير مصر هي منظمة إنمائية ولا تهدف للربح تعمل مع أكثر المجتمعات تهميشًا في مصر كجزء من هيئة كير الدولية تخدم الأفراد والمجتمعات والجمعيات المحلية في المناطق الأكثر فقرا، بدأت هيئة كير عملها في مصر منذ عام 1954 بتقديم برنامج للتغذية المدرسية في عام 1974 قامت بإنشاء وإدارة مجموعة متنوعة من مشاريع التنمية. ومنذ عام 1986 وسعت الهيئة من أنشطتها في مجالات أكثر تنوعاً، وتحول محور نشاطها من تقديم الخدمات المباشرة الي أساليب أكثر استدامة تهدف إلى بناء القدرات البشرية والمؤسسات المحلية. وتركز هيئة كير أعمالها في المقام الأول في صعيد مصر، حيث تعمل بشكل وثيق مع المجتمعات الفقيرة والمهمشة، والمجتمعات المدنية، والمؤسسات الحكومية لتطبيق النهج الحقوقي من أجل تحسين سبل المعيشة على أساس مستدام.

تعلن مؤسسة كير مصر عن فتح باب التقدم للجمعيات الأهلية في مشروع ” معا للقضاء على العنف ضد الطفلة والفتاة ” بمحافظة بنى سويف
نبذة عن مشروع “معا للقضاء على العنف ضد الطفلة والفتاة” :
مشروع “معاً للقضاء على العنف ضد الطفلة والفتاة” هو أحد المشروعات الذي ينفذها برنامج حقوق المرأة بمؤسسة كير مصر بالشراكة مع صندوق الأمم المتحدة للسكان. ويسعى المشروع أن يعمل بشكل متكامل للاستجابة للتحديات التي تواجهها النساء والفتيات المعرضة للعنف المبني على النوع الاجتماعي من خلال العمل المباشر معهن إلى جانب ادماج الشباب والرجال وبدعم ومشاركة صناع القرار لمواجهة زواج الاطفال وختان الاناث من خلال رفع وعي الرجال والنساء بآثارهم السلبية ورسم آليات للتصدي لهم. وتوفير مساحات أمنه للسيدات والفتيات المتضررة وخلق مساحات امنه للنقاش بين الأجيال المختلفة.

النتيجة العامة للمشروع:

النساء والفتيات في المجتمعات المستهدفة يتمتعن بكامل حياتهن دون التعرض لمخاطر ختان الاناث وزواج الاطفال.

النتائج المتوسطة المتوقع تحقيقها من المشروع:

يسعى المشروع إلى تحقيق ثلاث نتائج على النحو التالي؛
• تعزيز بيئة آمنة بين الأسر المستهدفة في المجتمعات لمنع زواج الاطفال وتشويه الأعضاء التناسلية الأنثوية.
• تقديم الاستجابة الأولية والدعم اللازم من خلال التدخلات المجتمعية لمنع زواج الاطفال وتشويه الأعضاء التناسلية الأنثوية.
• زيادة التزام القيادة المحلية والمجتمعية بالدعوة إلى إنهاء الزواج المبكر وتشويه الأعضاء التناسلية الأنثوية

شروط التقديم للمنحة:

يحق لأي منظمة من منظمات المجتمع المدني المسجلة في وزارة التضامن الاجتماعي في المحافظات المستهدفة للمشروع والتي تستوفي المعايير الموضحة اسفله التقدم للحصول على هذه المنحة. في محافظات ( بنى سويف) على ان يتوفر بها الشروط الاتية :-
1. مسجل في وزارة التضامن الاجتماعي، وفى احدى المحافظات المستهدفة ( بنى سويف)
2. يكون مقر الجمعية في مركز ومدينة المحافظة وتعمل في القرى داخل المحافظة المستهدفة.
3. خبرة سابقة في مشروعات ومبادرات مواجهة العنف المبني على النوع الاجتماعي بشكل عام وقضية ختان الإناث والزواج المبكر بشكل خاص في السنوات الخمس الأخيرة.
4. يفضل خبرة سابقة في العمل على ادماج الرجال في قضايا العنف المبنى على النوع الاجتماعي.
5. يفضل خبرة سابقة لإعادة تعبئة الموارد والعمل مع المجتمعات المستهدفة، ولديهم فريق من المتطوعين.
6. يفضل لديهم خبرة في مجال الدعوة وكسب التأييد فيما يتعلق بقضايا العنف المبنى على النوع الاجتماعي.
7. لديها عدد من التمويلات والمشروعات القائمة التي يمكن البناء عليها والتشبيك معها.
8. لديها هيكل وظيفي قائم يتضمن عدد من المتطوعين الذكور والاناث
9. لديها علاقات وتشبيكات جيدة مع الجهات الرسمية والحكومية المعنية.
10. الاستعداد لتطوير مشروع / خطة تحقق نتائج واليات المشروع.
11. لا تقل مساهمة الجمعية عن 10% من إجمالي موازنة المشروع المقدم.
* سيبدأ المشروع بمجرد الحصول على الموافقات
جميع المنظمات الراغبة في التقديم

تحميل استمارة التقديم من هذا الرابط.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1A7ynEuTdGiMZq7OmSozZi-Njmb64j-4cU-ys5rJe80c/edit?usp=sharing

Rana.Kamaly@care.org يرجى تقديم طلباتك على البريد الإليكتروني

وتقديمها بحد اقصى يوم الثلاثاء الموافق 31 مايو 2022 على العنوان الاتي: – 25 شارع أسماء فهمي، قطعة رقم 1 مربع ي – مدينة نصر. الرقم البريدي: 11586– القاهرة.

 

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Call for Partnerships

اعلان طلب جمعيات اهلية للشراكة مع مؤسسة كير مصر للتنمية

ايمانا من مؤسسة كير مصر للتنمية بالدور الفعال والمؤثر للشراكات، نعلن عن بدء قبول طلبات الشراكة بين برنامج التعليم متمثل في مشروع ” تنمية القدرات المالية للشباب/الشابات” مع الجمعيات الأهلية والمؤسسات المصرية المشهرة والتابعة لوزارة التضامن الاجتماعي بمحافظات القاهرة الكبرى ( القاهرة، الجيزة، القليوبية) للمشاركة في الوصول إلى الفئات المستهدفة وتنفيذ أنشطة المشروع المختلفة (تكوين مجموعات الادخار والاقراض للشباب والشابات و تدريبات تنمية القدرات المالية للشباب وريادة الأعمال).
نصائح هامة لقبول السيرة الذاتية للجمعية/المؤسسة المرشحة:
• توضيح الخبرات السابقة والمناطق الجغرافية التي تغطيها الجمعية/المؤسسة
• توضيح أعمار وأنواع الفئات المستهدفة التي تعمل معها الجمعية/المؤسسة
• توضيح أنواع المشروعات والأنشطة التي تعمل بها الجمعية/المؤسسة
يمكنكم ملء استمارة التقديم باللينك الآتي حتى 7 ابريل 2022
https://forms.gle/Do11czJn94W2uwKn7
مع العلم ان الرد على ترشيحاتكم سيتم بنهاية شهر ابريل 2022

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Ideas Latest News News

SASPEN Project-Call for SMEs in Agribusiness

SASPEN Project: open Call for Agri-preneurs:

Care Egypt foundation is launching the open call under the SASPEN Project (Sustainable Agriculture Service provision Enterprise Network in Egypt) benefiting from the Dutch expertise in the agribusiness through establishing and maintaining an Egyptian -Dutch informational channel in agricultural innovation and entrepreneurship to support young agribusiness professionals and expanding small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by introducing innovative solutions to their technical challenges, linking these SMEs to financial resources, and promoting innovation and technologies. Thus, Improving efficiency and performance of the agricultural sector in Egypt.

The SASPEN project is managed by Care Egypt Foundation (CEF) in partnership with Care Netherlands (CNL) and funded by the Netherlands embassy (NL).

We are inviting young professionals representing small and medium enterprises in agribusinesses in Egypt to apply to this cycle to get the needed technical support provided by the Dutch -Egyptian expertise to support their establishments of agricultural-focused SME start-ups and/or expand their existing SMEs.

This support will be in the form of a diversified and selected set of training courses where the agri-preneurs will have access to sources of technical guidance, access to financial information sources to improve their skills and further develop their products and services.
These SMEs will also benefit from channels for business opportunities with Dutch projects, companies, and partners in the agri-scene.

Criteria of Selection:
Who can apply?
– young agribusiness professionals (female and male) we encourage females to apply.
– Could be the founder/ cofounder of a small/ medium enterprise in agriculture sector
– committed to attend the program fully
– hold the Egyptian nationality
– interested in sustainable agriculture and agricultural innovation.
– English and Arabic language proficiency is a must
– Have the ability to travel with no restrictions

What are the criteria that the proposed SMEs should meet?
– Must be a legal and registered entity
– has been working for more than 2 years and providing a registered service/ product in the market
– Targeted SMEs should have the interest in becoming inclusive and sustainable.
– Focus on different agricultural aspects that range between input supply to production support or technology/machination to post-harvest processes and marketing.
– Priority will be given to SMEs who can demonstrate a direct /indirect benefit to smallholder farmer, rural farming communities and youth, and women.
– propel the technology transfer and innovative solutions

you can apply by filling the attached form.
The deadline for this call is the 21st of April 2022.
For inquiries , please contact: Saly.sami@care.org

https://forms.office.com/r/GT86JyV336

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Press Release

CARE Egypt launches the CSOs readiness for the Green Climate Fund (GCF)- Focusing on Africa project

Cairo-January 3rd,2022

CARE Egypt Foundation (CEF) organizes a conference to launch its project “The Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) readiness for the Green Climate Fund (GCF)- Focusing on Africa” today in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment.

On top of the attendees came Dr. Hoda El-Shawatfy, Assistant of the Minister of Environment for Eco-Tourism Affairs. The conference is also attended by a group of high-level government officials, including Dr. Ahmed Saada, Associate Minister of Social Solidarity for Civil Society Support and Health Affairs, and Ambassador Mohamed Nasr, Head of Climate, Environment and Sustainable Development Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This is in addition to Dr. Sherif Daoud, Representative of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, Ahmed Fathy, Regional Coordinator of Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) and Dr. Talaat Abdel Qawi, President of the General Federation of NGOs and Institutions related to Climate Change.

The event aims to enrich the participants’ awareness of the Green Climate Fund’s unique role and the importance of the broad CSO’s engagement and ways to share climate change best practices.

Today, Dr. Mohamed Bayoumi, Deputy Resident Director of Environment and Climate Projects at the United Nations Development Program moderates one of the sessions tackling the role of the Green Climate Fund. Mr. Tarek Shalaby, Director of the General Department of Risks and Adaptation in the Central Administration for Climate Change defined climate change and its case of Egypt. Another session will present the current projects of the Green Climate Fund implemented in Egypt and will be moderated by Dr. Ahmed Mahina, First Undersecretary of the Ministry of Electricity in Egypt. One of the projects that are showcased is “Enhancing adaptation to climate change in the North Coast and Nile Delta” by Dr. Mohamed Ahmed Ali, Executive Director of the project at the United Nations Development Program.

CSOs Readiness for the Green Climate Fund project is funded by the German Ministry of Environment through the International Climate Initiative (IKI) and implemented by Germanwatch, CARE International in Germany, and CARE Egypt Foundation. The project aims to support broader African civil society participation in the early implementation phase of the Green Climate Fund through the development of readiness support materials that facilitate the participation of CSOs in key African countries and the exchange of experiences at the regional and global levels to expand the participation of those organizations in Africa and beyond.

The GCF project is implemented in 10 African Countries Kenya, Ghana, Malawi, Egypt, Madagascar, Senegal, Morocco, Namibia, Cameroon, and Côte d’Ivoire. CARE Egypt Foundation (CEF) acts as the national partner responsible for coordinating the implementation of GCF activities in Egypt in close cooperation with the Ministry of Environment in Egypt as it acts as the main partner and focal point of contact with the Green Climate Fund which ensures that the GCF activities are aligned with the goals and strategic national priorities of Egypt.

CARE Egypt Foundation also supports civil society organizations in Egypt and the Middle East and North Africa region to participate in discussions and operations of the Green Climate Fund through knowledge exchange, as CARE Egypt has extensive experience in building trust with civil society and networking with various agencies and ministries concerned in this regard.
Dr. Hazem Fahmy, Chairman of CEF Board of Trustees says: “We are honored by the new partnership with the Ministry of Environment as climate change is at the top priorities of the Egyptian government and worldwide. This event is of special significance as it is a strong prelude to the Climate Summit COP 27 which will be held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt in 2022.”

Green Climate Fund’s mission is to shift towards low carbon emissions, sustainable economies, and societies that are resilient to climate change. Over the past years, the GCF became the most important multilateral instrument in climate finance worldwide, supporting developing countries in scaling up and realizing their nationally determined contributions (NDC) ambitions toward low-emission, climate-resilient pathways. Therefore, the project seeks to enhance civil society readiness in existing and new countries by strengthening the capacities of existing CSOs to advocate for ambitious proposals in the areas of mitigation and adaptation/disaster risk reduction through gaining broader societal support and greater accountability of national-level power holders by strengthening participatory evaluation mechanisms.

About CARE Egypt Foundation:
CARE Egypt Foundation (CEF) fights poverty and improves the quality of life, in partnership with marginalized groups and civil society institutions as well as government authorities. CARE Egypt Foundation’s work revolves around empowering women, providing quality education, and supporting small-scale farmers. CEF addresses the underlying causes of poverty and social injustice to bring sustainable change to the lives of the poor and vulnerable groups on all levels.

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Health Ideas Latest News News News & Stories

10 years of milk collection centers

“Selling milk is considered a shameful act in rural areas of Upper Egypt. For locals, selling milk means that households are in need. Despite the shame, Nadia Mahmoud walked out to sell milk to the milk collection center (MCC) ten years ago in Halabeya village, Beni Suef, Upper Egypt. Day after day, selling milk has transformed Beni Suef to a leading governorate in the milk production business.
In her seventies, Nadia was not satisfied with the trader she used to deal with. The prices were too low. She used the surplus of milk that was not sold to make cheese for her household consumption. Although her sons work as milk traders, she prefers to sell milk to the local MCC. “I am one of the pioneers who started selling milk to the MCC and have been loyal to it since ever established ten years ago”, she says.
Today, Beni Suef produces 30 tons of milk per day instead of 5 tons with the beginning of the project and 200 KG before “Alban Baladna” CARE-Danone partnership.
Traders control prices. “With the trader, I am not sure what and when will I get my money. If the price of milk drops down on the day he pays me, he would pay me less than the price set when I sold him. If the price increases, I get paid the same amount on the day I sold him. It was so unfair. That’s why, I prefer the MCC”, Fawzya El-Sayed explains.
“With the MCC, I feel that I am an employee who gets paid a stable salary by the end of the month. With this monthly payment, I am entitled to get financial advances from the MCC whenever I need guaranteed by the milk I provide”, Fawzya adds.

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Ideas Latest News News News & Stories

Fatma, an 11-year old student leads the way in school students’ union

At CARE, we believe in educating motivated young women to become compassionate leaders in their communities. We are committed to teaching leadership skills to
every student in public schools in areas where we work. Girls participation in extracurricular activities, like sports and students’ unions (SU) are limited especially in joint
schools. Fatma Safwat, an 11-year-old girl shares her experience as a member of students union of Qasr Hor primary school in
Malawi district, Minya governorate. Fatma, one of the few girls in her school students’ union, is very enthusiastic
about her role in the union. “Eyeglasses for students with short sight” is her first initiative. It all started when Fatma saw some
of her colleagues are bullied for suffering from short sight issues. They were hesitant to share their problem with their teachers. Fatma communicated the matter with the
school management team that was not aware of the issue. She delivered a list of names of students who needed medical examination
and followed-up on the action taken by the management until students were medically examined and got their eyeglasses. Fatma says: “I feel proud of myself when I see my
colleagues happy and able to catch up with their studies”. She also helped raise the awareness of students against bullying. ‘Ana we Madrasty’ or ‘My school and I’ project,
funded by Dubai Cares, aims to improve the quality of education for children in a safe and attractive educational environment. It
provides students with leadership trainings and support social workers to empower SUs role in schools. Elham Zakaria, project
field supervisor at CARE Egypt explains:“The Student Union is one of the school’s most important solid bodies. Our goal is to
build the students’ as well as school staff’s capacities to encourage and support them in their initiatives”. Cleaning the school sidewalk” is her second initiative. Fatma headed the SU delegation meeting the city council to discuss the problem of garbage dispersed in front of the
school gate. “It is our role to speak up about this matter bothering everyone”, she explains. The school management in collaboration with
CARE team worked with the city council to remove all garbage. The roles of the Student Union are endless. Schools are not just about classrooms and textbooks, the Student Union gives the
students the discovery they need to create a living, evolving culture for student growth and success.

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Press Release

Signing cooperation agreements with 11 civil society associations

Cairo- September 9, 2021

CSA4L project targets five thousand farmers, 25% of whom are women, to spread climate-smart agriculture systems Care Egypt Foundation held a ceremony to distribute agreements for funded projects with partner associations in the governorates of Beni Suef and Assiut on September 7 and 8, as part of the activities of the Climate-Smart Agriculture for Life project in partnership with the European Union. A number of executives, representatives of partner associations, representatives of the directorates of agriculture and social solidarity in the two governorates and representatives of the Department of International Cooperation in the governorate’s general office participated in the celebration, as well as the participation of heads of boards of directors of partner societies in each governorate. Care Egypt Foundation had launched its first project on climate change “Climate-Smart Agriculture for Life” in partnership with the European Union, which aims to support the participation of civil society and youth in adapting to climate change and mitigating its effects in Egypt, with a funding of 1 million euros and aims to: Work at the community level to implement community-led interventions that encourage climate-smart agricultural practices by engaging civil society organizations, agricultural cooperatives, and youth with a focus on women’s participation in these interventions. The project adopted a participatory planning strategy, where the current situation of the candidate communities was studied and the target community was involved in identifying needs and preparing financing proposals based on the community needs that were identified in a participatory manner. Climate and participatory planning methodology and how to write proposals according to the scenario planning methodology, passing through a number of steps and stages before the final selection of projects to be funded through the grant program. Through the grant program of the “Climate-Smart Agriculture for Life” project, 11 civil society organizations in Beni Suef and Assiut will implement 11 community development initiatives aimed at raising farmers’ and society’s awareness of climate change concepts and building their capacity to address the crises resulting from this phenomenon. And the shift from traditional practices in agriculture or agricultural production processes to climate-smart farming practices, which would have a direct positive impact on the productivity of small farmers and women farmers and improve their living conditions. Among the applications of modern agricultural practices, the use of solar energy in irrigation machines and rationalization of irrigation through lining watering cans, establishing early warning systems, working to improve soil properties, safe disposal of agricultural and animal residues and reusing them in the form of feed and organic fertilizers, making indicative models, distributing production requirements and planting varieties Of the seeds that withstand difficult climatic conditions and enhance the added value through the recycling of agricultural products. The project targets approximately 5,000 farmers, at least 25% of whom are women. Community initiatives will be implemented in the Beni Suef governorate in a number of communities in the centers of Al-Fashn, Beba, Beni Suef, and Ihnasiya, while the implementation will be carried out in the centers of Sahel Saleem, Manfalut, Al-Duwer, Abnoub, Al-Qusiya and Al-Badari in Assiut. The project adopts mechanisms of control and social accountability, as it works in each governorate through the Association of Specific Union for the Protection and Improvement of the Environment in Beni Suef and the Egyptian Agricultural Association in Assiut to involve young people in monitoring projects and applying tools and mechanisms of control and social accountability within the project.

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A journey from loneliness and distress to hope and strength, Reem tells her story

In 2017, Reem Mohamed, a (33) Syrian woman, fled with her husband and two children as war engulfed her countryReem is a young Syrian woman, married with two children, who have been living in Egypt since then. Reem is originally from Damascus countryside,  had to move to the capital, Damascus, when her village was declared a war zone. “Although we thought that the capital would be a safer place for us, we lived very hard times. The economic conditions were very bad. No life, no electricity, no safety, and the capital was under attack all the time,” she says.

At that time, Reem and her husband realized that it was about time to flee the country. “We have already lost our home, our business and we left with nothing,” Reem explains. The family left everything behind: their families, friends and country. “We had some savings; so we took our passports and left the same night,” she adds.

The trip to Cairo was not without risks. They lack food and water during their trip which lasted for hours. “Travelling in such terrible conditions and with two children – a 3-years-old son and a six-month-old daughter was a nightmare,” she says.

The family headed to Alexandria to join their relatives there. Her husband tried to start a food processing business. But the business failed and he lost most of his capital. He had to work as an employee in another business.

Adapting to her new life is another challenge for Reem. Badi Ahwa” (I want to buy coffee) is a simple expression that was not understood by Egyptians”! “People did not understand what I was trying to say,” Reem says. She explains that she never thought that the difference of dialects would be a problem when she decided to move to Egypt. “I know that I am in a better situation than other Syrians who live in isolated camps elsewhere. Here, we live among Egyptians and as part of society. However, the integration is still not that easy. The difference in dialects, cultures, and even in food is obvious.” she underlines.

At the beginning, I used to take care of my house and children only. I used to spend days alone, with no one even knocking at my door,”  she adds.

Reem could not easily adapt to her new life or integrate into a new country. But when she joined a Whatsapp group in her neighbourhood, she was introduced to a CARE Friendly Space. Located in Agami, Alexandria, CARE Friendly Space is a safe place for women created in neighbourhoods where the majority of residents are Syrian refugees.

This place offered Reem an opportunity to network with other refugee women from different countries, including Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Eritrea as well as Egyptians. Activities such as sewing, drawing, cooking, psychological support or even just information sessions about the legal status of refugees, their rights and duties in their new host community were organized.

“This place allowed me to communicate again with people like me, speaking the same language, dialect and with similar stories. I felt home again,” she says. “I learnt to draw, sew and make string art. I displayed my artwork in exhibitions and sold some of my work. But it all stopped with the pandemic,” she adds.

Then, came the COVID-19 pandemic

With the outbreak of the pandemic, Reem, like many other families, went through a difficult time. There was little income and nowhere to go. Even the Friendly Space that she used to consider as her only recreational and learning centre closed its doors during the lockdown. She could no longer connect with her peers.

Podcast Training

Our team at CARE Egypt understood the feelings of loneliness and the profound depression of these women during the lockdown.   Hence, we created “Lametna” (Our Gathering), a new podcast as a way for female refugees to reconnect.

Season 1 episodes focused on opening a safe space to express their feelings and offering psychological support. Then, twenty Syrian and non-Syrian women refugees volunteered to train in program hosting.

Reem was one of the participants. She hosted a program that she named “Nasij Al-Hekayat” (Weaving Tales). “I had the opportunity to speak about everything: my memories, me being a bride in my house back in Syria nine years ago, about refugees who drowned at sea, about success and failure, my artwork and many other topics,” she explains.

In six months, we podcasted 100 episodes. We reached 7707 listeners from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Germany, France, the USA and Iraq.

Reem left Syria with her 3-year-old son and 6 months-old baby. Four years on, Reem still gets scared when hearing an airplane passing by. The war memories are still vivid in her mind. However, she is full of hope that one day all the hard times would be gone and maybe one day they will go back to their country so that the children meet their grandparents, uncles and aunts for the first time in years.

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Mona

Though asylum seeking may protect one from the devastating physical consequences of war, the psychological impact is inevitable.

“It is as if I have left the strong, confident Arabic teacher back whom I used to be back in Syria, all I have now is a weak, dependable character, that fears everything and never does anything on its own” says “Mona”, a Syrian woman who came to Egypt after the war circumstances in Syria.

Having an autistic child added much to her suffering; due to her husband’s abandonment of his responsibility towards him, she had to stay up with him all night, fearing her husband would hit him harshly if he cried and woke him up.

Mona failed to express herself and her suffering, she preferred to stay silent and keep it all to herself, she even refused to visit doctors when she got sick.

She only visited a doctor for the first time after two month of nonstop bleeding.

“I thought it was my husband’s right to treat me like this; I used to accept being hit by him instead of my son, I used to accept humiliation and scolding, I used to accept being blamed for delivering an autistic child, I used to accept it all in fear of getting a divorce, but I just couldn’t take it anymore.”

Joining “The Friendly Space” support group was a turning point for “Mona”; she realized that an everlasting positive change in her life had to start from within first, then it would work its way out.

Learning to stand up for herself was her key to a new life, she started facing her husband and refusing his bad treatment, she stopped him when he tried to hit her or their son, she told him he had to bear the responsibility of their child with her, and asked him to stay up with him at night at least once a week because she needs some rest and sleep.

When he refused her requests at the beginning, “Mona” threatened him and asked for a divorce.

To her surprise, he immediately retreated, apologized and agreed to all her requests.

“My fear of losing my husband was actually destroying my life not saving it, when I risked everything for the sake of my dignity, I got everything in return.

It only required me some bravery and the courage to say “NO” to lead a totally new life, one which I am actually satisfied with.

Now I have my strong independent personality back and I am not ready to ever give up my rights again.”