Hope Foundation

“promoting resilience and psychological well-being in vulnerable life stages”

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Eligibility

  • Yes, I fulfill all of the eligibility criteria.

Initiative's representative name

Michael Elnemais Fawzy

Initiative's representative date of birth

20 - 11 - 1984

Initiative’s representative gender

  • Man

Which eligible market are you based in?

  • Canada

Where are you making a difference?

Egypt; (Cairo, Alexandria, Minya, Asyut, Sohag, Luxor, Port Said)

Website or social media url(s)

https://www.ashoka.org/en-eg/fellow/michael-elnemais-fawzy

When was your organisation founded?

April/2014

Focus areas

  • Financial skills and capability
  • Reskilling and upskilling the workforce

Project Stage

  • Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working towards the next level of expansion)

Yearly Budget: How much capital do you need to accomplish your proposed project?

  • $1k - $10k

Organisation Type

  • Non-profit / NGO

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this to succeed

In my adolescence, I was trained to be a puppeteer. I went beyond just operating puppets to diving deeper into décor, puppetry techniques, the puppet materials, and finally writing scripts myself. What started out as a simple means to entertain people evolved into a message that I wanted to convey to my audience, and this message which I kept repeating in every play is the fact that we can be heroes inside our life story. As a med school student, I wondered why my colleague, who could be their own heroes, were actually a cornerstone of the problem, and not part of the solution. This later spurred me to holistically work on all components of a child’s environment, the absence of which would inevitably negatively impact the child.

2. The problem: What problem surrounding employability or financial capability are you helping to solve?

Parents’ lack of awareness, or rather unawareness, is coupled with insufficient to no training of social workers, general practitioners, and teachers in schools. several layers threaten the adequate treatment of the phenomenon; (ii) skewed distribution of mental healthcare services/programs between rural and urban areas, (iii) the stigma surrounding mental health (iv) and, finally, the lack of trained mental healthcare professionals in Egypt.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

The program comprised of three phases; the first includes all three groups- parents, teachers, social workers/psychologists- and trains participants to identify the difference between challenging behaviors that are consistent with typical child development, and those that are cause for concern. The second phase also includes all three groups and analyzes the interaction between home and school. Positive relationships within children’s natural habitat- schools and homes- inevitably act as a buffer against negative experiences that play a dominant role in the prevalence of children’s mental health issues. The third and last phase is respectively tailored for each group. Teachers are offered powerful positive reinforcement tools, in addition to the means to set a safe and interesting learning environment. Social workers and psychologists are up-skilled to identify and adequately assist students in general, and those suffering from mental health issues in particular. As for parents, they are thoroughly coached on positive parenting and the impact they have on their children.

4. How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solving the problem?

Through a comprehensive system that successfully brings together parents, teachers, social workers and psychologists, Hope is instilling and promoting resilience in high-risk, underserved children to recover from or positively adapt to adverse circumstances. Though the program was initially designed to promote children’s resilience, the benefit is bi-directional, because teaching parents how to build resilience in their kids ultimately flows into them, making them more resilient. He also enables teachers to treat and support children in the most efficient and effective way by improving their pedagogical methods. In addition, I integrated a rigorous program to build the capacities of social workers, psychologists, and general practitioners.

6. Financial capability: how is your organization or project creating innovative solutions that arm people with ability to optimize their current and future financial health

Since countries like Egypt that ratify the convention on the rights of the child agree to be legally bound to its provisions. In this direction, sustained efforts were deployed to keep up the momentum by a commitment to attaining sustainable development. This commitment is further reflected by Egypt’s early and active contribution to the shaping, implementation, and follow-up of the global and ambitious Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs). In that context, "Hope" realize that culturally sensitive, and relevant projects are crucial to accelerating progress for children and achieving the SDGs. Against this background, and while considering these points as positive steps towards development, a program like “Hope” is needed to be part and parcel of the current process and will contribute to meeting the SDGs.

6a. Please describe what aspect of financial capability your organization is focused on fostering and how you have measured / plan to measure progress.

The main beneficiaries are the child’s caregivers, The project has already had some measure of 'success’; like pre/post-program surveys. The work done so far is being integrated into the process of methodology review. And since the proposed program deals with Pre-program service providers (teachers, Social workers, psychologists) and the parents, it primarily addresses the requirements/concerns/interests of those participants. The evaluation studies done by partners have concluded that the program has contributed to developing the skills to make learning a joyful and stress-free experience.

7. Marketplace: Who else is addressing the same problem? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The Learning Resource Center (LRC) addresses children’s learning and development difficulties by providing assessment and therapy solutions. Positive Parenting Egypt is another organization that aims as improving how children are raised and educated in Egypt and has occasional one-day workshops for parents such as positive discipline for teenagers or how to deal with your toddler. SAFE is a non-profit organization that focuses on the prevention of child sexual abuse by empowering children and educating parents, teachers, and caregivers about the topic.

8. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

"Hope" has empowered 3000 people to set healthy living and learning environments for students across 8 governorates in Egypt. Governorates include but are not limited to Luxor, Aswan, Sohag, Alexandria, El Minya, and Asyut. This way, Hope is decentralizing access to sound information, and subsequent practices, on youth mental health. In addition, the evaluation studies done by partners have concluded that the program has contributed to developing the skills to make learning a joyful and stress-free experience for both teachers and learners. Improved interpersonal relationships within the classroom, increased parents' and teachers' knowledge, and change in perceptions and behavior are all indicators that have been measured. One of the teachers from Fatema El-Zahraa School attended the program in March 2019 said that the training is useful for both our professional and personal life.

9. Financial Sustainability Plan. Can you tell us about you plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

Short term plan: working with through and with partnerships and by opening the calls for fundraising. Medium and long plan: Hope plans to be in connection with Masr El Ataa (Egypt Gives), an initiative under the Egyptian General Medical Syndicate, which can potentially provide the manpower of doctors/child psychiatrists, financial assistance, and bringing the doctors to the referred children. and by creating a Resource Bank of the innovative teaching material to be made available to a wider cross-section of providers and to make the program more autonomously replicable. Finally, we aim to legally establish the foundation to work with the different targeted governmental bodies in different consultancies.

10. Team

currently, Hope has five board members and one of them is the founder. members come from different backgrounds necessary for the foundation; these backgrounds include financial, administrative in general and NGOs in particular, teaching and psychological.Hope plans to be in connection with Masr El Ataa, an initiative under the Egyptian General Medical Syndicate, which can potentially provide the manpower of doctors/child psychiatrists, financial assistance.

Help Us Support Diversity! Are you a member of an under-served , under-represented, or marginalized group in your country of residence? (yes/no) (this question is optional – if you choose to fill it out, the response will not be shared with your fellow contestants)

  • Religion

If you selected “yes” to any of the categories above, please explain how being a member of this group has impacted you and your work?

being from the religion minority put a challenge of mistrust in the methodology used in the program and a barrier of resistance from the participants.

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Participated in previous Ashoka challenges  

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