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[Photo by Lara Gerges.] 2011 Was a challenging year in Egypt. But as I read our newly published 2011 Annual Report, I was struck by how much we had to thank God for. Here are my top four:


 #1 – We didn’t let the security situation in Egypt stop us. 

Thanks largely goes to our faithful Volunteer Reps, the backbone of Coptic Orphans and 90% of our total workforce. They provided tutors to children who were homebound. They provided new locks on doors and windows for families. They saved young girls from marriage. Our Volunteer Reps did it all with courage and ingenuity.

#2 – 50% of children in Coptic Orphans now have sponsors—a 28% increase from the previous year. 

Sponsorship provides a personal, loving connection that children in Egypt vitally need. Sponsors send letters of encouragement, special gifts, and even visit their sponsored children in Egypt. Sponsor support will allow us to meet the tremendous demand of children waiting to become part of our program in 2012. We will double the number of new children over previous years, with 2,000 new participants.

#3 – Egyptian widows earned 140,000 Egyptian Pounds (about $23,000 USD) through our new microcredit program. 

For Egyptian widows who were stigmatized by society simply because they lost their husbands, our new microloan program, B’edeya, gave them their own businesses and a means to support their families. Dignity through work was a priceless gift!

#4 – 87% of expenses went directly to field programs in Egypt.

That means that Coptic Orphans spent only 8% on administrative expenses and only 5% for fundraising. We cared about being good stewards of what we were given.

Egypt weathered great storms in 2011. But through your support, there was much to love and to thank God for during a turbulent year. And there’s more — check out our 2011 Annual Report.

Question: What one thing stood out for you most about 2011 in the Annual Report?