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Names changed to protect privacy and dignity of participants.

*Names changed to protect privacy and dignity of participants.

As Egypt’s future remains uncertain with political and religious unrest our Valuable Girl Project continues to make strides building bridges of tolerance and understanding between Christians and Muslims.

It’s becoming more common in Egypt, especially in rural areas, for people of different religions to avoid interacting. Different religious practices often eliminate the opportunity to communicate and create an atmosphere of distrust. As people get older their fear of the other can sometimes develop into full blown hatred. Alia* a Big Sister participating in VGP shared her thoughts about how the program has made a difference in her life:

Before my participation in the project, I used to carry negative attitudes and feeling towards Christians in general. I never used to have any Christian friends or as much as talked to my Christian classmates or neighbors if I knew they were Christian. However, upon the start of the project, I was personally touched by the love and respect my fellow Christian girls showed me. After a while, I started to feel a mutual love and respect for them as well. Consequently, my family also changed their attitudes towards Christians in general after I shared my thoughts with them. VGP helped me see that we all love Egypt … regardless of our beliefs.

It is through such grassroots initiatives that greater tolerance can be attained in Egypt.