“Announcing a new round - Unlocking Minds, Nurturing Potential”

"Only education is capable of saving our societies from possible collapse, whether violent or gradual." - Jean Piaget.

On the 15th of May 2017, the Ministry of Social Solidarity hosted the launch ceremony of the second round of Karim El Husseini Scholarships (KEH SCH) together with the fifth round of the annual Karim El Husseini Awards (KEH A) at the Ministry’s main hall. The ceremony was attended by a large crowd of representatives of the ministry’s different administrations operating within the geographical scope of both the awards and the scholarships, where they attended a presentation on the association’s various activities, in addition to explaining the competition’s criteria and conditions, how to apply and the prize structure.

The presentation started with a preface on OFA’s activities, followed by an introduction to the annual Karim Al Husseini Awards, an annual award program that rewards orphanage students who successfully finish their primary, preparatory and secondary education with distinction, as well as honoring three exceptional caregivers who unconditionally support and develop the lives of orphans and those deprived from their natural families. The award intends to motivate orphanage students to excel in their lives while at the same time encourages professional caregivers to adopt a positive attitude and to follow the most effective & up to date practices in social care.

Amid its fifth round, KEH A 2017 will span 14 governorates and its ceremony is going to take place on the 11th of November, along the vast green gardens of the Hilton Pyramids Golf Resort, an establishment that supports OFA along its many endeavors.

On the other side, the Association launched the second round of Karim El Husseini Scholarships for technical education across the governorates of Cairo, Giza and Qalyubia, with the scholarship ceremony being hosted by Cairo Ramses Hilton on the 25th of September; The scholarship is made possible through cooperation with the Forum of Training and Education (FORTE), under the umbrella of the German Arabic Chamber of Industry and Commerce (GACIC) with the participation of the Egyptian-German Culture Center (ÄDK). A program that aims not only to counter stereotyping, but to develop the economy in dire need of these young talents.

By the end of the day, Orphans’ Friends Association acknowledged the cooperation demonstrated by the Ministry of Social Solidarity, stressing that the road to a better future for our dear country depends on that quality of cooperation between the State and civil society; It then distributed invitations to participate in both the awards and the scholarships to the representatives of the ministry’s different administrations, stressing their pivotal role to communicate OFA’s message to all orphanage children within their responsibility, as ambassadors not only for OFA, but for a better future for these children.

Orphans Day Celebration 2017 - Stars Center - City Stars

“More than just a day”

"Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier." - Mother Teresa

On the 7th of April 2017, City Stars hosted more than 200 boys and girls of different orphanages and care institutions who were invited by OFA to spend an entertaining day that included a marvelous program that contributed, among other things, to an unforgettable smile on the children’s faces.

The day started with enjoying an animation film at Stars Center Cinema, followed by three hours of continuous play at “Magic Galaxy” – an indoor amusement park – in a fun and loving atmosphere. Where the children went out to experience every possible game without hesitation, just that desire driving them to have more fun, an urge that ended only with the break, just before the theatrical show that took place at the center’s lobby.

It was when the clowns went on stage and started the show, where everyone got excited, as the children watched eagerly, embarking on that magical journey apart from our world, joined with Disney characters, singing and dancing till the end of the show.

By the end of the day, the children managed to receive their wonderful gifts from City Stars management team, which provided all the necessary requirements for the day’s success and eventually the children’s happiness, not only for being an unforgettable day, but for more than just a day.


“Autumn Kites”

It is said that Excellence can always be attained if you do care more than others think is wise, risk more than others think is safe, dream more than others think is practical, and expect more than others think is possible. On many different levels, it is taking this one more step, and breaking through that next wall, always choosing between making a wish and making it happen.

On the 29th of October, 2016, Orphans' Friends Association (OFA) chose to make it happen and celebrated Karim El Husseini Awards 2016 (KEH A 2016) for the fourth year in a row, a celebration that took place in the presence of Dr. Azza Abdoun, Director General of the General Department of Family and Childhood – MOSS on behalf of Her Excellency Dr. Ghada Waly, amid a group of public figures who commit themselves to the orphan cause. Seven children and three caregivers were honored for their excellence and extraordinary achievements along the vast green gardens of the Hilton Pyramids Golf Resort, an establishment that supports OFA along its many endeavors.

Karim El-Husseini Awards is an annual award program organized by OFA to reward orphanage students who successfully finish their primary, preparatory and secondary education with distinction, in addition to honoring exceptional caregivers who unconditionally support and develop the lives of orphans and those deprived from their natural families; OFA considers this award a step towards encouraging orphaned boys and girls to excel in their education, besides, motivating caregivers to adopt a positive attitude and to follow the most effective & up to date practices in social care.

This year, the award saw a surge in competition which led to choosing seven student winners instead of six, an assurance on the high caliber of applicants and the excelling future we see through them. Throughout the ceremony, Karim El Husseini Awards Committee outlined the award objectives, expectations and the selection process that included 49 students and 26 caregivers from 10 governorates where the award is established.

The Awardees this year included two children from the primary school,Yasmine Saber Salam El Sayed and Safwat Saber Salem; two children from the preparatory school, Demiana Gamal No'aman Aziz and Ramy Ra'fat Abo El Makarem; and three from the secondary school, Khairya Abo El Enin Khodeir, Karim Metwaly Mousa and Ibrahim Abdel Rahman Mohamed. In addition to three caregivers who were honored for their exceptional work. In the first place, lined up Mr. TahaQorany Imam, from Nasser Orphan Protection Establishment - Beni Suef; in the second one, followed Mrs. Reda Goma'a Idris, from El Sayedat El Moslemat Establishment - Cairo, and as last but not least came Mr. Malak Tawfiq Iskander, from Mar Girgis Establishment - Beheira.

In addition to Dr. Azza Abdoun, Director General of the General Department of Family and Childhood– MOSS and representative of Her Excellency Dr. Ghada Waly, speeches were given by Mrs. Jutta El Husseini, Chairperson of OFA, Prof. Dr. Monir El Husseini, OFA’s Treasurer, Prof. Dr. Magda Khatab KEH A Committee Chair and other public figures concerned with orphan care and development, who helped handing the winners their awards together with important figures from the Ministry of Social Solidarity, renowned Social Scientist, Dr. Georg Horcher and artist Mr. Ismail Yousry iterating their continuous support for the cause.

Aiming to build Karim El Husseini Alumni, all student winners of the previous years were invited as guests of honor, a conversation with Karim El Husseini Award 2015 winners was moderated by Artist Mr. Ismail Yousry to explore their impressions about Germany and the exchange program they were part of, how it reflected on their personalities and how their scope of the world has grown to include multiple perspectives. Afterwards, two shows were held, the “Dabke Show,” a modern Levantine Arab folk circle dance and “Hindi Show,” both performed by El Dameer El Hai and Dar El Hassan Associations’ talented children before concluding with the “Flying Balloon Show.”

Though excellence is a decision, excelling doesn’t negate the effects of being deprived from your natural family, and although we at OFA seek to address that, we do know that it isn’t as easy as it looks, and as stated by Mother Theresa, “The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.” Still for every step we take and for each milestone we reach, we love to remind you and ourselves that Kites always rise highest against the wind - not with it.


“To Never miss an Opportunity”

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

No freeman have underestimated the power of education along history, from Aristotle in the West to Confucius in the East and from Martin Luther King northward to Nelson Mandela southward, education has been key to change, evolve and include everyone. And that’s why Orphans’ Friends Association (OFA) is keen on striking that same chord to further include those deprived from their natural family, help them evolve and change themselves that one day they help change the world.

On the 25th of September, 2016, in the presence of her Excellency Dr. Ghada Waly, Minister of Social Solidarity, OFA celebrated launching the FIRST Karim El-Husseini Scholarship Program (KEH SCH), where three orphan students got the opportunity to continue their education in dual system at a technical secondary school of their choice, the program took place in cooperation with the Forum of Training and Education (FORTE), under the umbrella of the German Arabic Chamber of Industry and Commerce (GACIC). The ceremony was held at Cairo Ramses Hilton, one of the entities supporting OFA throughout its endeavors.

The scholarship coversthe tuition fees for three orphan students who will get to join a technical secondary school of their choice in dual education system. Over the course of three years, they will get to study in theory and practice what they studied in parallel at real work placements that ranges from hotels, factories to hospitals. For further support and encouragement, they will be granted a monthly stipend, a social and life insurance during the whole period of the program.

OFA also in cooperation with the Egyptian-German Culture Center (ÄDK) was able to enroll the three of them in a German language learning program, which will further develop their capabilities and guarantee them better chances throughout their career life. While through cooperation with FORTE, OFA was able to guarantee another three students the opportunity to be enrolled at a recognition program sponsored by three different well known companies that showed interest.

The three winners were chosen by a joint committee of OFA’s KEH SCH sub-committee, the Ministry of Social Solidarity, FORTE and partnering NGO’s. Together they did set the criteria for the winners including: educational excellence, inclusion in sports, cultural; artistic; and social activities where they have served their communities, in addition to their conduct, awareness and general knowledge. The process started on the 30th of May 2016, when an information session took place at the Association of Community Development in Degla - Maadi to showcase the scholarship and different stakeholders involved, 240 orphans from orphanages across greater Cairo were invited, which helped recommend 15 nominees whom applications were provided by OFA, the nominees were examined and evaluated by the joint committee, which managed to choose the best candidates.

In addition to her Excellency Dr. Ghada Waly, Minister of Social Solidarity, speeches were given by different stakeholders, including but not limited to Mrs. Jutta El Husseini, Chairperson of OFA, Eng. Mahmoud M. Ahmed, Chairperson of FORTE, Prof. Dr. Tarek Abd El Bary, Founder of ÄDK, Prof. Dr. Monir El Husseini, KEH SCH 2016 Committee member, and Mr. Georg Horcher, the German social scientist and many other public figures concerned with orphan care and development, who all iterated their support to the scholarship and to the efforts taken by OFA to continue putting forward the orphans’ cause.

We believe in education, and we believe it is capable of bringing change not only to oneself but to the world. And we see vocational education at the core of the educational process not only to counter stereotyping, but to develop the economy badly in need of those young talents, and would like to see that as an opportunity not to be missed, an assertion we love to quote Thomas Edison on, as he states, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work,” and for that we would strongly recommend not to miss one.


“Saving the World, One at a time”

It was one of these good days, a sunny one with swaying trees and singing birds just a stone’s throw from where the celebration was, across the street from Child’s Park, as if we were meant to have the roses there blooming in harmony with the ones right here, getting themselves ready to celebrate.

On the sixth of August, 2016, Orphans’ Friends Association (OFA) together with the Egyptian Red Crescent (ERC) concluded a summer training program for orphan children on the issue of Health and Safety; this program was designed to meet the orphanages’ needs that aroused when implementing the Pilot Project, a project that OFA supports to practically establish quality standards for orphanages and care institutions throughout Egypt.

OFA with the help of the ERC was able to logistically sponsor and develop 5 sub-training programs of 4 days each to support different age groups that covered a wide range of topics from the basic practices of first aid, healthy habits and traffic safety to the pressing issue of climate change.

Speeches were given by Dr. Yehia Tomoum, Consultant to the Egyptian Red Crescent and by the Chairperson of OFA, Mrs. Jutta El Husseini to emphasis the importance of collaboration among various stakeholders and representatives of civil society in order to raise the standards of programs offered to those in need; a recommended approach with tested outcomes.

At that day, 127 children and youth from 6 orphanages attended the celebration that took place at the ERC Main Hall where they were entertained by two shows, the “El Sa'ida Show,” a traditional upper Egyptian performance and “Singing & Dancing Show,” both performed by El Madina El Monawara Association children separated by a demonstration on “Health and Safety” given through a collaboration of both ERC trainers and orphan students.

At the end of that great day, certificates of accomplishment were awarded to those orphan children and orphanages for completing their training successfully and distinctively, and a significant thanks was given by Dr. Nehal Hefny, Head of Programs and Projects at the Egyptian Red Crescent for the effort that has been done to bring this program and that cooperation to its first milestone.

One might say that this was a fruitful day of first aid trainings and implementation workshops, while others may argue that it was a great one with artistic shows ringing every bell on its way; on so many levels we would also like to think of it as a compelling chance to teach these orphan children how to change the world, by teaching them how to save it through saving a person’s life, one at a time.


“10 Days... Forever”

They spread their wings, and until then they had no idea how far they will be able to fly. They did have faith that somehow they will manage to reach a destination far better, where they will be most welcome. A faith that worked in resemblance to a Wi-Fi network, powerfully connects you to what you aspire yet concealed everywhere around, and it actually worked and brought us as Orphan’s Friends Association, online.

It all started from that itch to work hard, study harder and go that extra mile, a mile that no one expected to stretch towards Frankfurt Airport right from their textbooks, may be that was the longest mile that they have experienced and a one that took only a blink of an eye to cross.

On Friday, the 3rd of June, 2016, a group of ten Egyptian children and three care-givers embarked on a journey that turned out to be a short yet a perspective changing one. It was part of the Egyptian-German Youth Exchange between Orphanages organized by OFA and rewarded to Karim El Husseini Award winners. They flew to Germany while most of them didn’t even know each other, to come back with stories to tell and experience to build on, where they sat and recalled their adventure around OFA’s intimate meeting table.

“With smiles on their faces and love in their hearts, I felt welcomed” a statement shared by Wahid Samir Al Sayed. In addition to the heartily welcome the kids received from their German peers, the Theresien Kinder - und Jugendhilfezentrum (TKJHZ) was keen on getting everyone on board from day one through organizing a well informed program brief and an icebreaking session which were valued by everyone.

On their second day, the delegation visited the 1000 year old Roman Catholic Cathedral of Mainz where they were accompanied by Domkapitular Hans-Jürgen Eberhardt in person, a detail that left them in awe. During their visit, the children saw their perspective of Christianity change as they explored together nearly the same narrative they have been hearing from Islamic scholars, the stories of Adam and Eve, Abraham and his Son, Jonah and the Whale and Moses. A visit that initiated more thoughts about the essential ideas of acceptance and tolerance.

The following day, the children visited the Wildpark, a beautiful zoo on the outskirts of the city, where they were given the chance to delve into nature just before Ramadan, the Holiest month on the Muslim calendar. “The wild animals and birds were so beautiful and their colors were wonderful” said Mohamed Sayed Abd El Hameed, an experience he will keep recalling whenever possible as he says. This specific day the children shoulder to shoulder helped with preparing the first Ramadan meal they experienced in Germany, and yes, it was delicious.

During the first day of Ramadan, the children visited Kreuzburg Secondary School, a visit that left them speechless as they did experience how Germany prioritizes education, and how that system it possesses stands firmly in place with discipline at its core values. “No one is late for classes at all, that’s not the same in Egypt; where complete carelessness and lack of discipline prevail. I have really learned discipline in Germany” Said Nada Tawfik Lokai.

One of the most enjoyable days was visiting Gelnhausen Town and Ronneburg Castle, where they explored both the town and the castle hands on, tried a lot of tools and even role played some of the characters that were involved in the castle’s history. On the other hand, their unforgettable was a surprise visit that we prepared for them to the Mystic Odenwald Forest, which they did like the most. “We visited Odenwald Forest and the sea of stones, where we had a walk. The forest is huge and I enjoyed climbing up the high rocks. My friends and I longed to reach the top to see the well in which the king was killed” Said Mohamed, while Nada was at the top when she yelled “This is the best day in my life” There was that sense of magic that indulged everyone in an undisclosed peaceful dream.

When we tried to explore the caregiver’s perspective we were really delighted to hear that this has really made a difference. Mr. Adel Mohamed, Senior Social Specialist at the General Administration for Family and Childhood said that the children have showed great development on different aspects. “They have acquired new behavior; they are now more positive, more patient and confident. After this experience, they appear to be self-motivated. They pay more attention to important details such as punctuality. And they have been socially active too.”

It’s worth mentioning that this program wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication of everyone involved. From Egypt, the Ministry of Social Solidarity (MOSS), the financial support from the Egyptian Tourism Authority (ETA), the planning and organization from Orphans’ Friends Association (OFA) and from Germany the host team of Theresien Kinder - und Jugendhilfezentrum (TKJHZ), which did prepare an exciting 10 day educational, cultural and recreational program for the children, caregivers and all participants to share not only friendship, but destiny between two great nations.

You build a life for years and leave it for 10 days or build a life for 10 days and leave it forever? This might be perceived as a great adventure, but we love to think of it as a second life, one with different set of values, a second life that puts forward tolerance, solidarity, sportsmanship, dedication and commitment on the frontlines, one that is indeed harder to leave behind.


Many thanks to Chef Dimitri and Ramses Hilton for inviting 30 orphan students through OFA's network during the International Food & Beverage week of Hilton Worldwide


“LOOK at their SMILE !!!!!!!”

170 boys & girls were invited to celebrate Orphans Day at CityStars. The event was hosted by CityStars and organized by Orphans' Friends Association. All the children had a wonderful time at Magic Galaxy, the largest amusement centre in Egypt. It was a day full of joy and happiness for both children and adults alike. In the afternoon the fun continued with a Clown show at Citystars's Atrium.

Hundreds of guests along with the 170 boys and girls enjoyed a live show featuring talented children singing on stage as well as all the favourite Disney Characters who danced and mingled with the children. The marvellous day ended with each one of the 170 boys & girls receiving a lovely souvenir giveaway of the magical day!!!!! Thanks a Million to CityStars Properties for the wonderful Orphans Day Celebration. Yours, Orphans' Friends Association.

‘Orphans' Friends Association’ RECEIVES AWARDS FROM ORPHANAGES

El Dameer El Haiee Association

Mrs. GEHAN EL SADAT handed to Orphans' Friends Association chairperson, Mrs. Jutta El Husseini, certificate of "Appreciation for fantastic role in raising Quality Performance of Orphanages on national level", awarded by El Dameer El Haiee Association during the event at the opera house on 15. March 2016.

Dar El Hassan

“in recognition for her efforts in distinguished Quality Standards Workshops for Orphanage’s personnel. With best wishes for continuous success”
Chairperson: Mrs. Fayka El Gamal

Dar El Fath

“are honored to show their gratefulness and recognition for the efforts you paid in Quality Standard Workshops for orphanages”, awarded during the orphans day celebration in may 2016, at Dar El Fateh organization for social care.


“The Pilot Project”

What is “The Pilot Project”?
The Pilot Project is the first phase of the Quality Standards Workshops. It is an experimental stage for us to evaluate, enhance and adjust the project. This phase included preparing information about current practices in orphanages and preparing curriculum for trainees by professional specialists and trainers for each workshop, in addition to designing training sessions for each workshop.

The Launching of this project, Workshop 1: INTRODUCTORY ON ALL QS-WS, took place on 30. September 2015 at the Cairo Ramses Hilton and was inaugurated by Dr. Mosaad Radwan, Assistant Minister for Care & Strategic Affairs, Ministry of Social Solidarity (MOSS) in Egypt.

20 orphanages were invited by free and with total support by OFA for Training and Applying the Quality Standards issued by the Ministerial Decree # 188, 9. June 2014, to improve the education and qualification of the entire Management & Staff in caring for orphans. All 42 Quality Standards are covered in the program of the 23 QSs workshops developed by OFA’s team of experts, total during 51 workshop days along 4 month.

The program of the QS-WS included topics, like:

  • Food and Nutrition
  • Housekeeping and Hygiene
  • Environment and Infrastructure
  • Governance, Management and Documentation
  • Relationship with Communities
  • Child Protection and Advocacy
  • Child integrated Care
  • Child Participation and Management
  • Professional Practice 1 & 2
  • Staff Sufficiency and Effectiveness
  • First Aid and Rescue
  • Evaluation workshops

Fifteen Orphanages responded to Orphans’ Friends Association invitation and the journey continued with 149 Orphanage personnel attending all QS-WS during 51 full Training days.

The Pilot Project closed on 26. January 2016 with an EVALUATION workshop, inviting the Management and 3 Persons of each participating orphanage, all QS-WS Trainers and Representatives of the Ministry of Social Solidarity, to obtain feedback on the Pilot project and was hosted by one of the participating orphanage, The Coptic Ladies Association at Zetoun, Cairo.

Some comments were: “. . . this is a real PIONEERING Project in Egypt, . . . for first time a comprehensive, educational, professional and very well organized Training Program, . . . no any other NGO presented knowledge and training, like Orphans’ Friends Association . . .”