Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Letters from Egypt: Help Abdo Get to School



I previously wrote about Abdo, our nine-year old office boy, who had been missing school in order to work to help support his mother and small brother. After speaking with his mother, we found out that Abdo has never attended school so when it came time to enroll him, we faced a major roadblock.

Since this little guy has never had the opportunity to spend one day in a school, many schools that were contacted refused to take him. The schools instead suggested that he receive private tutoring to get him up-to-speed with his peers and try for possible admittance next year. Basically since Abdo’s family can’t afford for him to attend public school, then somehow he should be able to afford a private tutor? Please explain that rationale.

So every Egyptian female in my office offered to start tutoring him one hour a piece each day, mainly to help him learn to read and write. Luckily after several phone calls, A.Y. found a school that would take him although he would enter as a first grader. At least he would be in school and hopefully learn his alphabet. But then we were faced with another problem.

Since we couldn’t find a school in the neighborhood, the one that would take him is far away. The school is located in Zaharaa Maadi, but that is not within walking distance for Abdo. He’s too little to ride a microbus by himself, we don’t have a driver available and there isn’t anyone that could ride a microbus with him daily each way (his mother is working and can’t leave the baby). I’ve personally had problems finding a driver for myself. If I had one, I would offer to take him each morning around 8-9 am and pick him at around 1:15 pm.

If any of you know a dependable taxi driver that could be of service, please message me immediately. Some of you may suggest a specific driver that you use, but please understand that we cannot pay the same wages that you are paying your driver. I will pay no more than the regular metered taxi fare each way, but just maybe some of you know of someone who understands how important this is who would be willing to accept normal payment. I want to make it clear that I am not asking for money, I’m asking for a service.

Abdo is slated to start his first day ever of school on Sunday. If you know anyone who could help or if you could just spread the word, I would really appreciate it.

7 comments:

  1. Hi LeAnne- I've commented several times over the years, never introduced myself, my name is Natalie, claim Texas as home and work at the embassy in Baghdad currently- travel to Cairo regularly... anyway, did you get any responses to date?

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    1. Hi Natalie, nice to meet you (well, by your name at least). Unfortunately, no one responded. A worker at BCA called a friend of his who is a taxi driver, but he was unavailable. I reached out to my neighbor and I’m hoping that I will be able to use his kids’ taxi driver but the issue is the time his children go to school. Otherwise, I guess the only option I have is to grab a taxi myself, go pick him up, take him to school, come back to the gym (necessary I can assure you, lol), back to work and then grab a taxi from the Autostrad to pick him up again? I really don’t see any other way unless I find a driver that isn’t going to rob me blind. But I’m hopeful *fingers crossed*

      Oh and the other update is that we were unable to get him started in school this week, but it seems like that won’t happen until after Eid al Adha.

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  2. I'll keep asking around via friends and family. Gym is most def a necessity for me here too lol. I won't be returning to Cairo until late December unfortunately. And the same story, I can barely find a regular driver for myself. I really admire your effort, need more of you in the world.

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    1. Thanks so much Natalie, I really appreciate it. I've acquired a backpack and some clothes (hopefully they will fit) from another friend. Again, thank you so much.

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  3. I'll be there in December, I have some children's books in arabic on learning how to read, activity books etc. in my apartment in Dubai- I always pickup a bunch up for our staff's children here in Baghdad and end up not being able to fit all of them in my suitcase- anyway, I'll be in Maadi for a few weeks and would be glad to drop them off. Cheers, Natalie

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    1. That would be great! I'll even splurge for a coffee or beverage of your choice if you have some free time just to show my gratitude. It really is much appreciated!

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  4. Great- I'll get in touch as soon as I make it- would love to meet you!

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