Introduction and The Challenge:
According to the National Council of Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM), 93% of Egyptian children aged one-14 years old suffer from violence. The UNICEF study, “Violence Against Children in Egypt” found that 66% of children interviewed (aged 13-17) suffer from physical violence, more than one in three students experience bullying on a regular basis, 78% of respondents suffered from emotional violence and most all girls surveyed reported having experienced sexual harassment. In 2017, the Thomson Reuters Foundation Poll ranked Cairo as the worst megacity in the world in terms of women’s safety.
Numerous studies have shown that violence against children has detrimental effects on family structures, community cohesion, and educational advancement and that this violence tends to be repeated.
Heya Masr was founded in 2014 as a social enterprise initiative in Egypt with a mission of reducing the gender gaps by empowering young Egyptian women and their support systems; mainly addressing sexual harassment, bullying, and gender-based violence. According to USAID, Egypt ranks low in gender equality, currently measuring at 136 out of 145 countries. Heya Masr began by empowering young women ages six-18 to develop self-worth through character development.
The Heya Masr programs are based on research-based techniques in behavioral development. The program’s trained facilitators offer classes and workshops in order for the youth to build their self-confidence, develop and strengthen their characters in a nurturing, safe environment. The curriculum teaches children the importance of physical activity, nutrition, a healthy lifestyle, character development, bullying, and sexual harassment awareness, and self-defense training in order to address the major issues plagued by the youth today. In addition to youth services, Heya Masr also offers parenting programs and rehabilitation training. In order to fully actualize the mission of eradicating inequality and promoting good mental and physical health for all Egyptian citizens.
Heya Masr Program
There are many types of research that provide different approaches address how developmental interventions could be conducted to prevent violence against children based on family, community, local authorities, schools, governmental or non-governmental organizations, and the children themselves through a group of legislations, tools, and skills that equip them and improve their abilities to protect children from various types of violence.
“Working Together to Safeguard Children, A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children” addressed that the child-centered approach is fundamental to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of every child. A child-centered approach means keeping the child in focus when making decisions about their lives and working in partnership with them and their families. Moreover, understanding what happened and why things happened can improve children’s responses in the future.
Heya Masr adopted the child approach to achieve child protection and prevent violence against children by developing the child’s character by processing tools and skills that enable him/her to protect him/her from the aforementioned types of physical and psychological harm and restore their dignity and self-worth. End generation recycles trauma and abuse. Moreover, Heya Masr works with parents to raise their awareness with positive growth methods and meet their children’s needs. For this purpose, we chose to focus on the following three processes:
If children attain the knowledge, skills, and ability to make their reality better, make their own choices, and participate in decision-making processes, their characters are developed.
The council curriculum inspired heys Masr to develop its own curriculum and based on WHO overview in its research on “Violence Prevention the evidence, preventing violence by developing life skills in children and adolescents” on developing children’s skills to face violence.
Shedding light on Heya Masr and its program, we started executing the program in summer 2014 by working on classes’ materials and activities. The program is divided into three levels, a 6 months program; each level lasts for 2 months.
The program is divided into three main focus: Character building, Nutrition healthy habits, sexual harassment awareness, and two additional days for basic self-defense training classes that run to a total of 8-10 hours. We end each level with a graduation ceremony to encourage the participants for their commitment and reward them.
In the last two years, we kicked off programs to include boys within the same age (6-18) years old and added a parent program.
In Heya Masr, we are concerned with the quality more than the quantity; the ideal class number is with a range of 12-15 participants with an average of 3 training due to the heavy activities used to encourage engagement and participation.
Path One: A no fee-based path to run classes of 15 participants, each with Heya Masr volunteer teachers. The classes will take place on the weekend, either Fridays or Saturdays.
Path Two: This is a new project, “Heya Masr Academy.” It is a fee-based path to get any entity’s teachers trained and able to run classes and to use our Heya Masr program curriculums. Heya Masr will provide the training and monitor the classes’ performance and collect assessments periodically.
Most of the activities depend on stationary materials and data show presentations, video games, and fun activities in all classes. The cost of the stationary materials would be the organization’s responsibility, in addition to the cost that could be applied to executing the training for volunteers in path 2.
Measurement and Evaluations
Heya Masr to appoint monitoring and evaluation staff to perform the following: This could be outsourced to an external contractor.
- Conduct a baseline for each participant at the beginning of the project by carrying out personality tests and creativity tests
- Monitoring and Evaluation of trainers and facilitators
- Monitoring and evaluations for all activities to confirm schedule and compliance.
- Participants Behaviors Modification and progress tracking
- Participants engagement weekly challenges after the sessions to apply
- Database analysis for each youngster and facilitator
- Conduct a survey from all participants (youngster and parent) on our program
- Final reporting on engagement, behavior changes, and leadership skills
- Technical and financial reports will be prepared at the closing stage.
Program Workshops for parents and Teachers:
The physical, psychological and mental dangers of FGM
Tactics to reduce sexual harassment within the community
Tools to protect against harassment and bullying.
Teachers and Schools need to be a safe environment to educate and empower children to lower the number of drop out of students at school.
Self- Defense program, we target girls and women of all ages. To Boost their self confidence