The Right to Education


Abeer Bakeer

Basic Education Assistant

Arab Al Atteyat, Egypt

June 22, 2015


My name is Abeer Bakeer. I am the Basic Education Assistant in the sponsorship program, where every day I am confronted by parents who lack basic knowledge of health, hygiene, and maybe cannot read, as well as poorly equipped schools and teachers. Despite all this children still exhibit a great desire to improve themselves.


Abeer with a group children at the school library

One memorable moment which illustrates this occurred when I was in Arab Al Atteyat, a culturally Bedouin village far from many basic services, monitoring some educational activities there. A parent came to take his child home from school for an unknown reason. The child passionately refused because he wanted to remain to solve a specific math problem he was working on!

When I graduated, I volunteered with several community projects that serve marginalized people. I really enjoyed the social aspect of the work. When a permanent position became available with Save the Children, I jumped at the chance. I have worked in this role for one year now, where I spend five days weekly serving needy children.


Abeer with a group children at school

Over the past seven years, Save the Children in Egypt has worked with the Ministry of Education, our local partners, schools, teachers, and children. We work closely with teachers on classroom management techniques, lesson planning, and supporting children to be leaders. When children cannot read, we help them to learn. And they do.

The thing I am most proud of is how children change, changes I see. Thank you, sponsors, for helping to support our work.

How do you think having to fight for your right to an education could affect a young child’s attitude towards learning? Do you think the challenges school age children face in impoverished communities to attend school makes their desire to learn stronger?

Interested in joining our community of sponsors? Click here to learn more.

Live Blog: Children at Risk in Libya

55 Geof Giacomini, Save the Children, Egypt Country Director

Cairo, Egypt

Geof reports from Cairo on the impact of unrest on children in Egypt and Libya. Geof plays a key role in providing relief for refugee children and their families fleeing from unrest in neighboring Libya. Save the Children is mounting relief efforts in the wake of a violent uprising against embattled Libyan leader, Muammar Qaddafi.

When I returned to the Middle East in the midst of the Egyptian revolution, I never would have suspected that Libya would soon follow. Now, the Libyan turmoil and violence is getting worse.Thousands of families have been forced to flee the country for fear of their lives.

The UN reports that thousands of people have sought refuge here in Egypt. Countless others have arrived in Tunisia. Libyan refugees have no where to go but to countries still struggling with unrest themselves.

Resize_imageAn Egyptian boy who fled Libya, walks across the border before being transported to a nearby Tunisian army camp. 
Credit REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

In response to the unrest and emerging refugee crisis, our emergency relief teams have been working tirelessly. Our US logistics expert and aid program director arrived safely at the border. We take very strict security measures and stock the vehicles with provisions and emergency communications equipment such as satellite phones.

Our team continues to support children caught in the violence andendeavours to meet their needs. We want to make sure that children caught up in this crisis are cared for and protected.

Boys and girls in these situations also face serious risks to their health and safety. Children can often get lost in the chaos. If they get separated from their families, they may go hungry or get hurt easily without parents to protect them. They are vulnerable to emotional distress from being uprooted from their homes, schools and all that is familiar to them.

So far, needs center around the basics – food, shelter and health care. We will be partnering with the humanitarian community on these essentials. We will also be working to reunite families and providing support for children who have been exposed to trauma.

More to come from the field as things unfold. We could really use some extra help right about now.


Get more news about Save the Children and unrest in the Middle East and North Africa


Culture Snapshot: Blind-Cat Game Played by Children in Egypt

Generic Ahmed Abdel Hamid, Sponsorship Manager

Cairo, Egypt

Friday, April 8, 2011

Save the Children has sponsorship programs in over twenty countries in five regions of the world! Our Culture Snapshot series highlights unique elements of local culture from each of the regions our sponsorship programs operate in. We hope you enjoy and will visit again in the coming weeks to learn about each region. Check out the last post, "Culture Snapshot: Carom – A Favorite Game of Children in Bangladesh"


The “Blind Cat” or “El Qota El Aamyaa” in Arabic is a team game where children decide who will be the blind cat and who will search for the others while his/her eyes are blindfolded.

Children Toss to Decide who Starts (1)
After selecting who will start, the team creates borders for the playing area.

Children play Blind-cat 2
Then the selected blind cat tries to catch one of the children who will then become the blind cat.

Children play Blind-cat 1
The child who plays the blind cat focuses on his/her hearing skill to figure out where each child is.

Coming soon, learn about xingomana, a cultural dance in Mozambique!


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A Brighter Future for Egyptian Children

55 Geof Giacomini, Save the Children, Egypt Country Director

Cairo, Egypt

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Geof reports from Cairo on the impact of unrest on children in Egypt and Libya. Geof is currently leading our efforts to support the needs of children in the aftermath of the Egyptian revolution. He also plays a key role in providing relief for refugee children and their families fleeing from unrest in neighboring Libya. 

I returned to Egypt the chaotic day before the fall of Hosni Mubarak. It’s hard to believe that just a few short weeks how calm it is in the streets. I’m able to move about Cairo – as easily as anyone can move about this teeming city of nearly 17 million people. 

Just a few days ago, I visited the heart of the uprising – Tahrir Square. Tahrir means liberation and it is clear the Egyptian people will settle for no less. Protests continue on Fridays, reminding the country’s tenuous leadership of their demands. 

It was in Tahrir square that I met Baraka who was trying to support himself by selling little Egyptian flags for protestors. I asked Baraka what the flag means to him, especially as he witnessed the revolution. I asked, “does it mean anything to you?” He answered “no, I sell them because I make money.” They go for about 20 cents a piece. 

Baraka was tiny, not even four feet tall. He had scabs on his forehead and left cheek – he did not say how he got them. He was filthy, grime under his nails and dirt on his face. I thought to myself, at least he has shoes – which many children do not. 

Baraka looked about nine years old. I shuddered when he told me he was fourteen. About a third of Egyptian children are stunted – severely under developed. 

Under the Mubarak regime, undocumented children were denied basic access to food, school and medical care. Most of these children have been abandoned, neglected or ran-away from abuse. 

Having seen first hand the toll previous policies have taken on a generation of some of the country’s poorest children, I am hopeful the Egyptian people will prioritize education and health programs. 

We all wish for happy, healthy children who grow up to be productive members of this free nation. 

Update: Save the Children’s Egyptian sponsorship programs

Farouk Egypt

Farouk Salah, Egypt Sponsorship Manager, Save the Children

Assiut, Egypt

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Given the political climate in Egypt over the last two weeks I would like to take a moment to update you on the status of our sponsorship programs.

Our sponsorship programs, located more than an hour’s drive from Cairo, are still fully operational and have not been disrupted by the unrest in the capital.

I ask you to limit the number of e-mails to the Egyptian office until service is fully restored.

If you would like more information about the status of the programs we encourage you to e-mail donor services or contact an associate at 1-800-728-3843.

Thank you for your support,

Farouk Salah

Interested in joining our community of sponsors? Click here to find out more