Senior Raising Money to Bring Laptops to Egypt
Posted September 7, 2012
Sarah Naguib '13 has a big goal and an even bigger dream of helping children in her home country of Egypt. A first generation Egyptian-American Sarah has raised over $7,000 of her $25,000 goal to purchase laptop computers for children of the Zabbaleen communities in Egypt. Sarah's project combines her love of education and technology through One Laptop Per Child and Columbus School for Girls as well as her love for her family’s home country of Egypt through Hands Along the Nile.
One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) is a program out of MIT whose mission is to “empower the world's poorest children through education.” Its founder has been working for over 20 years to develop a computer that costs only $100. Since 2007, over 2.5 million computers are currently in the hands of children worldwide. For more information about OLPC, please see www.laptop.org.
In 2010, Sarah began her work with OLPC through a service-learning course taught at Columbus School for Girls. Working with OLPC has sparked a passion in Sarah for providing education for children who have had a limited opportunity to learn. In December 2011, she wanted to take her work with OLPC to the next level. Upon conducting some initial research, she was surprised to find out that OLPC was not involved in Egypt, which is a third-world country in need of education. Sarah realized that if she did not take it upon herself to bring OLPC to Egypt, she could not guarantee that she would see it happen in her lifetime. Sarah made it her goal to raise $25,000 by November 2012, enough money to buy 100 computers and cover shipping. So, after contacting some non-profit organizations, she found Hands Along the Nile (HANDS), which agreed to help support her project. HANDS is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to “build bridges of peace between Egypt and America.” For more information about HANDS, see www.handsalongthenile.org. HANDS informed Sarah about their involvement in the “Zabbaleen” of Egypt. “Zabbaleen” directly translated from Arabic means “the garbage people.” More than 50,000 impoverished Egyptians spend their lifetimes collecting, transporting, sorting, and reusing the materials to create crafts and sell them for a living. Although members of the Zabbaleen reuse a staggering 85 percent of Cairo’s waste, they only earn $1.65 per day and their children have little access to formal education. Since January 2012, they have located two schools in the “Zabbaleen” to receive the computers—an all-girls school called the Association for the Protection of the Environment, and an all-boys school called Spirit of the Youth.
After locating these schools, the fundraising process began, and so far, Sarah has raised over $7,000. Sarah spoke at a variety of organizations, including Capitol Square Rotary Club, and wrote a number of grants in the hopes of meeting her goal financially by November 2012. To find out more about the project, please visit www.laptopsforegypt.wordpress.com.
Sarah will be on NBC 4 with Marshall McPeek on Sunday, September 16 during the 9:00 a.m. broadcast. Learn more about her project online.