We save children from the streets where they get addicted to violence, drugs, sex, and the street itself. In the streets, they become predators and prey. As preys, they are attacked, raped, and exploited. As predators, they do the same to others.
When they come to Belady, they are no longer called street children. They become Belady’s (my country’s) children. Belady becomes their temporary shelter and home. In it, they are rehabilitated from all their addictions. They get to share their troubles with their peers and Belady members. They learn literacy, art, and music. They learn how to discuss and solve their problems.
Once they are settled, they begin missing their own families and ask to have contact with them. We create a safe environment where the family can reunite again. We work with the families and facilitate their relationship with their children. If both parties are ready, we integrate them together.
If not, children stay and grow with us. They become the coaches and mentors of tomorrow. They are transformed to effective members in society rather than simultaneous predators and prey.
Child political prisoners:
Child political prisoners are a travesty hidden in obscurity. Currently there is an undefined number of children charged with and detained for alleged political crimes. Naturally, no person should languish in prison for a non-bloody political act. Needles to say, this is especially true if the person is a child. Besides the horror of languishing in prisons, child prisoners are tried before terrorism circuits, military tribunals, or the regular criminal courts. Besides being a grave abuse, it is illegal. Intervention is paramount. Left to their own devices, and to feeling alone in an unjust world, the children become easy prey in the hands of violent extremists. Unless they are fully supported, and unless they can find humanity around them, they will threaten the very fabric of any society. With personal support, with feeling loved and cared for by humanity, and with proper coaching, these children will become healthy and constructive members in society. Thus, Belady will work for their release and reintegration.
Young Leaders of Tomorrow:
a) Belady Membership: As an intended “positive externality” for accomplishing the targeted project, the members of Belady themselves develop the necessary skillsets that will allow them to be the leaders of tomorrow. In countries like Egypt, there is a severe lack of skills such as teamwork, collaboration, punctuality, problem solving, and working effectively towards goals and dreams. Through the work they do, Belady members will benefit the project itself, themselves, and their country in the future.
b) Community Dialogue: The key to moving forward in any project, nation, or conflict is to have good communication. Unfortunately, Egypt is so rigidly stratified and members of different strata do not communicate. Divisions are between sexes, religions, generations, socio-economic classes, and political lines. It is unthinkable and unsafe to talk about issues that matter. But when we provide space, people find the need to express themselves and ask forbidden questions. When they do, they get answers, and they suddenly come to the obvious realization that we are all human.
c) Social and political awareness: How can we move forward? Is it fate to remain “developing” but never developed? Why do some countries develop while others lag behind? We provide seminars that answer such questions and call for critical thinking. Activism without awareness and proper planning leads nowhere. Heightened activism with proper awareness can lead anywhere.