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Help Build a Home for Special Ed. Kids in Egypt

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February 9th, 2021 marks the one year memorial of the life of my son, Youssef Ibrahim. As a family, we ask that in Youssef’s memory you give whatever you can to this GoFundMe to support other special education children in Egypt, the place where Youssef was born. We dream to open up a residential home and school, similar to Misericordia, for the special needs children and adults in Egypt. Egypt lacks the proper resources and medical care for these children. Additionally, there is a dehumanizing stigma in Egyptian culture that special education kids and their families are cursed. All donations go directly to this cause in Youssef’s name. 

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My name is Germine. I was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt where I got married and had my firstborn children 20 years ago. I gave birth to twin boys: Youssef and Youhana. Youhana passed away three days after delivery. Youssef spent his first month in an incubator and due to negligence and lack of resources in Egypt, the doctors failed to recognize Youssef’s brain infection and treated his hydrocephalus with three failing shunt surgeries. Youssef, a perfect baby, became quadriplegic, epileptic, unable to speak, and blind due to this medical malpractice. I had to leave my country and come to America in search of a decent life for my son. Here in the US Youssef lived with the utmost dignity and respect, receiving the highest level of care in Misericordia and the schools he attended and through many hospitals, especially Lurie’s Children Hospital. Misericordia is a residential home for adults and children with disabilities, it was the heart of mercy for my son and my family. Youssef received the highest quality of care with the best doctors, teachers, and nurses. Misericordia provided the care my son needed that I could not provide for him at home. Misericordia is what I dream of for the children with similar disabilities in Egypt.

My son Youssef has been in and out of hospitals his whole life, but last February he got very sick and he passed away, returning to the house of his Heavenly Father. 

Since Youssef’s departure, my daughter, my son, my husband, and I have made it our life’s mission to help children with special needs in Egypt, like Youssef. These children lack the resources to survive and have nobody to take care of them. There is also a stigma in Egyptian culture that those with special needs are cursed and deserve their fate, dehumanizing them. Families are ashamed of their special needs children. These children bear the burden of disability and the burden of shame on themselves and their families. 

A few months ago, I received a phone call from a friend in Egypt who has dedicated her entire life to the service of people with special needs. She told me there is a center in Hanoville, Alexandria that takes care of 30 special needs children and adults. They live crammed in two apartments in a residential building next to the Coptic church that is taking care of them. There is an opportunity to buy a villa (1200 square meters) that has two residential buildings, a yard, and a swimming pool to take care of 100 special needs children and adults in Alexandria. The cost of buying this villa is 5 million Egyptian pounds or about $325,000 US dollars. A downpayment of $65,000 is needed to buy it as soon as possible, of this $40,000 has already been collected, our first goal is to collect the other $25,000 by the end of February.

I contacted the priest, Father Antonious, who is in charge of the Coptic Center for Special Needs and he said that Alexandria has around 800 children and adults who have disabilities that need urgent care. This new villa is just the beginning since it serves 100 special needs kids and adults. 

I think this place could become a Misercordia in Egypt. Our family dreams to see a place where more special needs children in Egypt can be treated the way that Youssef was treated, as he lived a life of dignity and respect in the United States.

Without each of you, we will not be able to make this dream a reality. This can be the start of a series of projects in all governorates of Egypt that could make a tremendous difference in the lives of those with disabilities and further challenge the stigma that exists in the Egyptian culture about those with disabilities.

All donated money will go directly to St. Antonious Church in Hanoville, Alexandria that is sponsoring this residential home. 

More information about Misericordia: https://www.misericordia.com/

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Donations 

  • Anonymous
    • $857 
    • 6 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $2,000 
    • 6 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $100 
    • 6 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $50 
    • 10 mos
  • Myriam Ayala
    • $50 
    • 11 mos
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Fundraising team: Ibrahim Family (4)

Sara Ibrahim
Organizer
Northbrook, IL
Coptic Academy Inc
Beneficiary
Germine Tawfik
Team member
Daniel Ibrahim
Team member
Ragy Mikhaeel
Team member

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