Nada Alfy Thabet – Egypt

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.She says: “Never rest as long as there are people in society facing hardship and despair!”

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Nada Alfy Thabet – Egypt

She works for the Village of Hope (VoH), and for the Presbyterian Evangelical Church (PEC).

Nadat Thabet is married and has two sons (24 and 26), one of whom has severe learning difficulties. She works in advocacy for the rights of people with learning difficulties through a network of 22 societies and NGOs working in the field. She has called for health insurance, a pension from birth and the issuing of identity cards. Her work raises awareness of societal prejudices and legal inequities in order to improve conditions for people with learning difficulties in Egypt.

She works in advocacy for the rights of people with learning difficulties through a network of twenty-two societies and NGOs working in the field. She has been calling for health insurance, a pension from birth and the issuing of identity cards. She works on the national level with the National Council for the Mother and Childhood and with the Arab Council for Childhood and Development.

She liaises with the social affairs ministers and key persons of the other relevant ministries to obtain full rights for young adults with learning difficulties and to ameliorate the laws regarding these rights.

She has been working in the field since 1986, preparing seminars, holding conferences, awareness-raising sessions and round table discussions.

Improvements springing from her work have spread, not only in the Borg Al-Arab district, in Egypt, but also throughout Alexandria and the surrounding provinces, fanning out across all Egypt. She has effected long-term change in the attitudes of many parents, sisters and brothers of young people with learning difficulties. By changing their views towards their children she has implanted hope in parents’ hearts.

Nada’s motivation towards social work, and improving the conditions of children with learning difficulties in particular, came sprang from her personal experience. “On March 2nd 1980 God gave me my son Maged. After about three months I began to question this gift; I felt he was different, his senses did not seem to function.” Thus began Nada’s painful journey with medical treatment inside Egypt and abroad. Maged was not improving in the slightest, with no hope he could be a normal child. He suffered atrophy of the brain cells, particularly those governing vision. Why was Maged not born like other children? Questions tumbled through Nada’s mind, followed by silence, anger, bitterness and resentment. “I continued like this until Maged was two-and-a-half years old, by which time I had completely lost all hope,” says Nada. She adds, “The strange thing is that this depression lead me closer to God, and I felt I needed Him more than ever. I prayed constantly.” She recalls, “As I was asking for God’s support and His Mercy, my tears brimming over, I saw that Maged was moving, and his eyes were actually seeing the things around him for the first time. I could not believe it.”

Maged started learning new skills, some that are difficult even for ‘normal’ people. Everything went well until he was 16, when he started facing different kinds of problems, such as having an identity card and being called for military service.

Although Maged’s problem has improved by far, still Nada was thinking of other people like his case. “I thought of setting up a place and called it ‘Village of Hope.’ It was established in December 2000, and by October 2001 it was nurturing six children with special needs,” says Nada. The Village has a centre for technical training, a bakery, carpentry, and agriculture to make it financially independent. From the experience of the Village of Hope sprang the idea of establishing a network of twenty-two societies working in the same field, to defend the rights of people with learning difficulties.(Read all on 1000peacewomen).

This month, Hiroyasu Kobayash, minister and deputy chief of mission at the Japanese Embassy in Cairo, and Nada Alfy Thabet, chairperson of the Village of Hope Association in Borg Al-Arab near Alexandria, signed a contract that will facilitate the Japanese Embassy’s $28,500 grant to provide a mini-bus for the village’s mentally challenged youth. Established in 2000, the Village of Hope Association’s main objective is to train and rehabilitate mentally challenged youth, focussing on day-to-day skills as well as income generating jobs. The new mini-bus will help ensure a comfortable and safe means of transportation for them. (See on weekly ahram).

“The problem here in Egypt is that there are no schools providing professional teachers for children with special needs,” Thabat told Al-Ahram. In 2004, Thabat began looking for ways to help the disabled students in the village have meaningful employment. The village started a bakery and a greenhouse that produces baked goods and vegetables now sold in grocery stores around Alexandria. Thabat hopes her nomination for the Nobel Peace Price will bring further attention to the needs of the village and those of the disabled community as a whole. (Read all on pastors.com).

Read: Invisible children suffering from nectlect. (IRIN).

Egyptiläinen Nada Thabet taistelee kehitysvammaisten oikeuksien puolesta 07/13/2005 Kehitysvammaisen lapsen syntymä on egyptiläiselle perheelle katastrofi. Rouva Nada Thabet käänsi omaa perhettään 25 vuotta sitten kohdanneen katastrofin menestystarinaksi ja tuli nimetyksi Nobelin vuoden 2005 rauhanpalkinnon saajaehdokkaan tuhannen naisen joukkoon. “Nobelin rauhanpalkinnon tuhat naista 2005″ on aloite kunnioittaa niitä miljoonia naisia, jotka työskentelevät ihmisoikeuksien ja köyhyyden vähentämisen puolesta. (OneWorld.net).

links:

coptic pope.org;

hands along the Nile;

Joining Hands;

Gaza Community Mental Health Programme GCMHP;

Caravan;

Al Rawi.

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