Heya Masr is a start-up social enterprise working to develop the resilience of public school students in Egypt through after-school programmes

Facts & Figures
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  • Location: Cairo, Egypt
  • Alfanar SE Since: 2021
  • Total Alfanar Grant to Date: £11,795
  • Social Impact Achieved: 300 children graduating from Heya Masr's programme
  • Website: www.heyamasr.org

The Challenge

According to the National Council of Childhood and Motherhood, 93% of Egyptian children aged 1-14 years old suffer from violence. A UNICEF study found that 66% of children interviewed (aged 13-17) suffered from physical violence, 78% suffered from emotional violence, while most girls surveyed reported that they 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. UNICEF has highlighted the need for extracurricular programmes to help children develop resilience in the face of violence and abuse. Moreover, while a limited number of character development programmes exist for middle- and upper-class adolescents in Egypt, such programmes are not widely available within public or community schools serving children living in poor or slum areas.

The Organisation

Social entrepreneur Moody Demetry launched Heya Masr in 2013 with the intention of building a sense of dignity and pride among young, disadvantaged Egyptian women. Working with a team of six experts in education, protection, healthcare, monitoring and evaluation, nutrition and gender equality in Egypt, they have developed three curricula around building resilience. 

Heya Masr has since expanded its interventions to work with boys and parents, as well as girls. Heya Masr’s training programme for parents emphasizes the importance of listening to children, encouraging them to treat boys and girls equally and to protect and support children within their homes and communities.

Since 2017, Heya Masr has delivered 48,000 training hours to 1,000 children (aged 6-14) across ten communities. Heya Masr’s training programme for children lasts 3-6 months, with 24 sessions delivered once or twice a week. The programme aims to improve children’s critical thinking, emotional intelligence, communication about personal and physical boundaries and self-respect for their bodies.  

Alfanar’s Support

Alfanar’s venture philanthropy support will support Heya Masr to increase its social impact, refine its revenue model, and improve its internal management systems. Alfanar will also work with Heya Masr to digitise and improve their monitoring and evaluation by gathering data on the educational achievements of children who have attended their programmes and testing different models for assessments. 

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