Educate Orphaned Coptic Girls

As many of you know, I spent last summer working with girls at a Christian orphanage outside of Cairo, Egypt. This villa houses approximately 30 Coptic-Christian orphaned girls ranging from ages 3-17. Most of these girls ended up at the orphanage after losing their fathers. In some instances, the father was arrested for petty crimes, or killed as a result of terrorism targeting the Coptic Christian community. Their mothers--often illiterate--could no longer sufficiently provide for their daughters. Rather than see them suffer, not being able to provide them with very basic needs, mothers reach out to the Coptic Church, that places them in orphanages to be raised. The main goal of the sisters who run the orphanage is educating these girls so that they may grow up to become independent, hard-working women, who can support themselves in a society and culture that is inherently discriminating. 
Recently, the orphanage has faced economic hardship and has asked for our help. A few of these girls are approaching the end of high school and are aspiring to go to college. I know from the month that I spent with them that they are extremely bright with enormous potential. It is compulsory to support them, especially in Egypt--a country in which gender inequality has constrained the country's development. According to USAID, in Egypt, women participate significantly less in the labor force than men (26% compared to 79%), and 65% of women are literate compared to the 82% of men.  If they are not able to continue their education, it would be an enormous opportunity lost. Getting them the best education possible is just the first step to empowering women in Egypt economically, socially, and politically and moving towards gender equality. 
Thank you so much for reading. Please donate; every dollar counts. God Bless.
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Organizer and beneficiary

Lara Mikhail 
Los Angeles, CA
May Mikhail