COLLECTING FUNDS TO BUY A SAFE AND PERMANENT HOME FOR AMAR AND HER FAMILY
Amar*, a good friend of mine, is a widowed mother, 40 years of age. She has three children, Rokaya, engaged-to-be-married (17), Ahmed (10), and Asmaa (5). Together, they live in a 2-bedroom apartment, behind the railroad tracks, in the slums of Hagar Al-Nawateya, in Alexandria, Egypt.
Their building is cracked, crooked, and about to collapse at any time; and their street has recently been home to the garbage collectors, who gather garbage from surrounding neighborhoods and schools and spread it out on Makka street, where Amar and her children live. They attempt to recycle materials, but all the while, gather rodents, snakes, and all kinds of insects from flies to cockroaches. Amar recalls how one day, as she was pulling something from a storage area, expecting dust to sprinkle down, a rat fell from above. Not only do they sort garbage, but they also burn plastic to extract copper from within them, causing all three children to develop chronic chest problems.
To make matters worse, after his father’s death, Ahmed, her middle son, has developed some psychological problems and has taken to spending his time on the streets of Hagar Al-Nawateya. Always behind his mother's back (who has to work long hours to provide for the family), he often jumps from their first-story balcony to plant himself in the dangerous streets of their neighborhood. He spends his time with a group of very hostile older kids, who have often used him, once to unknowingly buy them drugs and another time to sexually harass and abuse him, with the threat of killing him if he ever told. Ahmed is not very rational in his decision-making, and is often caught last-minute from in front of a passing train.
Rokaya, her older daughter, spends a lot of her time in the streets, going to and from school, and in the evening to attend tutoring lessons. Quoting Amar, "the place we live in is one where you would be frightened to have your daughter walk alone in the streets, let alone spend a few hours, or live in".
Additionally, the streets of Hagar Al-Nawateya are known to be a hub for all kinds of drugs, and with no police to govern the area, fights are usually fought by machetes and often escalate to gunfire. Her street is considered an alleyway; it has no streetlights and is too tight for even a car to pass through.
With the threat that their building will collapse, garbage, rodents, snakes, and insects frequent guests at their place, her children vulnerable to drug-related evils, street violence, being hit by a train, and chronic chest problems, Amar is in urgent need of a home in a new neighborhood that provides her family with the basic resources and stability they need to survive and thrive. Help her reach that goal.
WHY YOU SHOULD SUPPORT AMAR
Finding Amar a home that she and her family can live in for the rest of their lives is critical and life-transformative. Not only will they escape the harsh life of the slums of Hagar Al-Nawateya, with all that entails, but she will secure a property for herself and her children that can sustain and protect her family from a constantly deteriorating rent market that she herself is a victim of. For many, simple amenities like a clean street, an upright building, a snake and rodent-free home, and a safe neighborhood are taken for granted. But for Amar, it is a burning dream that she seeks to bring to reality.
She dreams of waking up in the morning without having to half-expect that her apartment has collapsed to rubble, and of going to work without having to half-expect a call from a neighbor that her son was caught dealing drugs; or injured in a machete fight; or her worst fear, hit by a train. She dreams of a night when she can go to bed without having to worry if her daughter will get to and from school safely tomorrow morning. She dreams of a childhood for Asmaa, where frequent doctor’s visits for her never-ending chest problems will be replaced by trips to the park, or zoo, or beach. She dreams of a breath of fresh air, not populated with the smell of rotten trash and the jitter of flies around her.
Almost in tears, Amar admits to me that she dreads and regrets taking the decision to live in such a place, although she and I both know that she had no alternative. As we write these paragraphs together, I see a sliver of hope in Amar’s eyes that this burning but buried dream can actually exist in reality.
By supporting this project, you can make Amar's dream a reality, and go to bed at night knowing that you've helped a family in dire need grow up in a safe, stable, secure, and nourishing home of their own.
Amar has already identified a few neighborhoods where she would like to live in, and has asked around for affordable prices. An average 2-bedroom apartment costs around 150,000 Egyptian Pounds, or about $20,000. Our goal is to reach at least that amount, so that Amar can secure a home in a good neighborhood, where she and her children can live in peace and safety. Once funds are collected, Amar will begin actively seeking an apartment that she is comfortable with and begin the moving process.
Please note that we are accepting offline donations both in cash (if you are in Egypt or Arkansas) and through a bank transfer/paypal.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
1) DONATE now using the links provided, any amount you see fit. No amount is too small, but the more you give, the more Amar's dream becomes a reality. Suggested donations are $10, $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1000, or any amount you feel compelled to give.
2) Don't forget to SHARE this campaign with all your family and friends, through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other websites!
*Aliases are used for all names to protect the privacy of the family.