On Mon 28th and Tues 29th July 2008, Ashoka’s staff and interns accompanied Dubai Cares to visit four of Ashoka Egypt’s fellows- Maher Bushra, Magdy Aziz, Sameh Seif and Seham Ibrahim. The group visited the schools and offices the fellows work at and watched their documentary films. The site visits were very successful, and Ashoka would like to thank Dubai Cares for their interest in the work of our fellows.
Maher Bushra was elected as an Ashoka fellow in 2004 for his work on fighting to establish legal, social and economic protections for the neglected quarry workers, many whom are children. Many die every year from toxic fumes that lead to solidified lungs or getting their clothing caught in the machines. Please take a minute to watch his organization’s documentary film:
Ahmed, the Ashoka Arab World Fellowship Officer, and Scott and I (both summer interns) visited Magda Iskander, one of the first Ashoka fellows elected in the Arab Regional Office and it was an eye-opening experience because I got to see a fellow’s work and how Ashoka plays a role in her work.
Care with Love started in September 1996 and was the first organization that trained home healthcare providers to provide care for the elderly in the Arab world. The organization provides job opportunity and training for young adults who become home healthcare providers while also offers loving and attentive care for the elderly and homebound. Many organizations have since replicated this model but Care with Love ensures high quality service through the weekly phone follow up, spot visits and engaging healthcare providers on suggestions and feedback.
Care with Love is currently financially sustainable through its clients. When asked what her main challenge was, she states that it is recruiting young people to become healthcare providers. So if you know of anyone who want to get a secure job that is highly self-valuable, please contact Care with Love for more information!
Addict But Not Criminal
“Addict but not criminal”- this message has covered Beirut on signs and posters since June 26th 2008 (World Drug Day) as part of a campaign. The campaign’s main goals are to advocate effective implementation of 1998 Lebanese Drug Law, initiate a referral system, educate judicial and police forces about drug addictions and enhance awareness on the appropriate treatment to drug users.
According to Lebanese law, “whoever is proven addicted will be imprisoned from three months to three years. The sentence could be reprieved if the convicted submits themselves to treatment measures ordered by the court.” However, approximately 1,500 drug-dependent and drug-using individuals are sent directly to prison every year because the facilities and agencies responsible for taking the drug user into treatment – particularly the National Council to Combat Drugs – do not exist.
The campaign is funded by USAID and Amideast and the campaign’s architects are NGO and rehabilitation centers, such as Oum El Nour, an inpatient center, and SKOUN, an outpatient facility in Beirut.
Marwa El-Daly, chair of the Maadi Community Foundation offers a new perspective for achieving sustainable donation in Egypt. She believes donations can be more sustainable if it works within time-honored Middle Eastern charitable traditions. The first area is directing the Muslim obligation of zakat- giving alms to the needy, one of the five pillars of Islam- to business development rather than supporting basic needs, a practice El-Daly terms ‘venture capital philanthropy’. The second is revitalizing the centuries-old instutition of waqfs, which are historical revenue-generating institutions that channels its profits to a specific worthy cause.
The winners for the Social Entrepreneur of the Year award for Egypt and Jordan for 2008 were announced at a plenary session of the World Economic Forum on the Middle East on 18th May 2008. Ashoka Fellow Sherif El Ghamrawy, the Founder of both Basata Ecolodge, a social business, and the complementary CBO, Hemaya, was recognised as the Social Entrepreneur of the Year in Egypt. For Jordan Zeinab Al Momani, the Founder and Chairwoman of the Sakrah Women’s Cooperative was awarded as the Social Entrepreneur of the Year in Jordan.
Ashoka Arab World Regional Director Dr. Iman Bibars and Ashoka Fellow Magda Iskander were finalists in the competition.
Last week we traveled about thirty minutes from our office to witness the first day of Fellow Seham Ibrahim’s dance program, sponsored by Nike’s program focusing on sports for Gender Equality.