In every country, there are people who dedicate their lives to others, and instead of living for themselves, they choose a selfless path to better other people’s lives. A few months ago, Hana Wali, a young Egyptian AUCian, launched Egypt Gives to find people without a home and provide them with basic resources or move them into shelters, assist those who are below the poverty-line, and eventually create centres for them. These centres would offer free rehabilitation, psychological assistance, dental and medical care, and basic education; an inspiring contribution and mission of achieving a more inclusive society.
After living in the UK and volunteering for charities for 18 years, she was disappointed by the lack of progress in multiple charities in her own country. “Handing out food and blankets, or playing with orphans barely seemed enough to me – where are the long term solutions?” she asked sorrowfully. She decided to start her own charity to eventually “end homelessness in Egypt by creating shelters which not only provide short-term solutions, but also long-term solutions to educate and improve the homeless community so that they can eventually fend for themselves.” However, she chose to keep the focus on the organization itself, not on her, since it’s a charitable cause.
“It was always such a heartbreaking image to me that so many of us were blessed with properties we do not use, whereas others dream of a tiny room to shelter them from the rain. I always dreamed of building a homeless shelter in Egypt, one which facilitates them properly – educating, tending to
medical and psychiatric needs, nourishing, and building them to be people
who are able to work and be included within society,” added Wali.
Since its inception, Egypt Gives has embarked on a number of projects, from offering aid to the homeless to assisting in building houses that are collapsing and distributing winter care packages to those in need. As part of their work on social media, they’ve also been raising awareness on the difference between beggars and those who are homeless so that more people know who to help.
Out of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Egypt Gives aims to target four: no hunger, no poverty, good health and wellbeing, and quality education. They work with Maxim Foundation, Lions Clubs International, Neya, and Together to Save a Human.
Either through their website or through direct messages on Instagram, Egypt Gives receives locations of homeless cases. They then notify the shelters who then analyze the situation and send a rescue team if the case is deemed truly in need. Up till today, they have provided shelter for four homeless people by linking them with Together to Save a Human, who have four operating homeless shelters in Egypt.
Once the organization becomes official and completes all its paperwork, Wali hopes to have an Egypt Gives homeless shelter. She advises fellow youth to be more grateful of their privileges and give to those in
need – even a small smile can make someone’s day.