Financing the children’s education
Adapted by AB Griffin, ACN Canada
ACN promises $42 000 for the victims and their families
What is a small trader to do when all his possessions, his shop, his means of existence go up in flames? How is the father of a family to cope, knowing that he can no longer feed his own family? It is hard to comprehend what A.W. must have felt when precisely this happened to him. As a Coptic Christian, he was one of many victims of the recent violent clashes in Egypt.
The basic rules of peaceful coexistence no longer seem to apply in the streets of Cairo. Since the deposition and arrest of former President Mursi there have been continuing and frequently violent protests on the part of the Muslim Brotherhood. Shops and private dwellings have gone up in flames, and numerous Egyptians now have to confront the ruins of their former existence. “In our diocese many fathers of families have lost their jobs and been forced to withdraw their children from school for financial reasons,” reports Patriarch Ibrahim Isaak Sedrak of the Coptic Catholic Church. He is asking ACN to provide for the support of four affected families, including that of A.W.
All means of existence – wiped out
Until recently this 40-year-old devout Christian and family man was the owner of a bookshop. Business was good and he was able to support his wife and three school-aged children. Then the so-called “Arab Spring” broke out, followed later by some of the first attacks, during which his shop was torched.
It was a bitter blow, but A.W. was soon back on his feet. With the help of a loan he was able to rebuild his business. His children grew and flourished, despite the difficult circumstances. A.W. was able to breathe again – until August 14, 2013 that is, when his nightmare was repeated. At a stroke, the livelihood of this proud and independent man was wiped out. For the second time he was forced to watch helplessly as his entire means of existence went up in flames.
This time, however, he was unable to get a loan, since he was already in debt. “I have no work, I have no business. I have been forced to give it up to pay some my debts. I have now moved back to live with my parents, so as to reduce the living costs for our family. My parents are feeding us. The new school year is beginning, but I have no idea how I can pay for the schooling of all my children. And because I am still in debt, nobody will give me work.” So he describes his desperate situation.
With the help of ACN, A.W. would be able to pay off his debts and begin to rebuild his life. “I pray to God that he will help my family and so make it possible for us to go on living here in Egypt,” he writes to ACN, and asks us to pray for him and his family.
ACN would like to help A.W. and others like him who have been particularly hard-hit by the recent violence. We are proposing to send a contribution of $42,000, which would above all enable the children to continue attending school.