Wataneya is a nonprofit organization that implements quality standards of alternative care in institutional homes. On the 28th and 29th of June, it held the 12th round of the Sanad forum. Its slogan was ‘In Kafala there is life’.
Azza Abdel Hameed, Founder and Chairperson of Wataneya, and member of the Higher Committee for Alternative Families at the Ministry of Social Solidarity said: “It is the responsibility of all stakeholders influencing the child, starting with the Ministry of Social Solidarity, care homes, alternative families, civil society, schools, universities, as well as the media and social initiatives to preserve the rights of children without parental care. Thus, we’re holding the Sanad Forum in order to unify the vision of making this dream come true. Every child will have the right to belong to a society that contains them.”
All About Kafala
The forum included 2 sessions for both days, each 3 hours long, and was held on Zoom. It touched on different dimensions surrounding Kafala in Egypt from the religious, to the legal and psychological perspectives. Experts as well as kafala parents and sons and daughters took part in discussing alternative care homes, society’s role in raising awareness about Kafala in Egypt, and so much more.
The first session included an opening statement by the founder of Wataneya Azza Abdel Hameed and a word from Minister of Social Solidarity Dr. Nevine Kabbage.
In her speech, Minister Nevine El Kabbage said “I am always happy to cooperate with Wataneya and appreciate its role as an active civil society institution, creating a good and tangible impact on the lives of children who need to be cared for. In April 2021, we launched the alternative care strategy and, we are also in the process of finalizing the Alternative Care law.”
“There is tangible progress because we offer more than one alternative care form. We have safe families, small homes, as well as foster and alternative families. Now, the number of children in alternative families has exceeded the number of those in institutions, and this is what we’ve aspired to. We have received 2,608 requests from foster families, which is the highest number of requests ever reached in the history of the Ministry of Social Solidarity,” she added.
The session also included one panel discussion titled ‘a Kafala story’ where Rasha Fahmy (the first single adopting mother) and Omneya ElMashad a representative of adopted youth told their Kafala experience.
Another panel discussion tackled the different dimensions of Kafala. Panelists included legal Consultant to the Ministry of Social Solidarity and President of the Higher Committee of Alternative Families Mohamed ElQemary, Dr. Amr El-Wardany the secretary of Fatwa, and the director of the Training Department at the Egyptian Ifta House, who is also a founding member of the Committee of Alternative Families, and child psychiatrist Dr. Hala Hammad. The session also included an interview with Rasha Mekky, founder of Yalla Kafala, and a discussion on the launch of Wataneya’s Kafala Families project.
The second session included discussions on the role of orphanages in the process of Kafala, an interview with Youmna Dahroug, founder of Kafala In Egypt on the role of social initiatives in encouraging Kafala, and a panel discussion on the role of society in raising awareness about Kafala. The discussion was moderated by our very own founder and managing editor May Abdel Asim and included founders of ‘Kafala’ Adham Helaly and Jessie Servinkova and director of the second season of the hit series Leih La2- which is currently spearheading a much-needed conversation on Kafala in Egypt- Mariam Abo Oaf. Samar Aly, a representative from Save The Children also took part in the discussion.
On The Sanad Forum
Wataneya first launched the Sanad forum in 2015, originally intending for it to be a space that connects all people having to do with alternative care in Egypt so they can exchange knowledge. Then, Sanad grew and Wataneya started inviting people from abroad to join in the 2019 round, which was a successful regional conference. They discovered that the challenges people without parental care face abroad (in Germany, the UK, and Canada), are similar to the challenges they face in Egypt.
The latest round held before this one occurred in March and tackled the issue of empowering girls without parental care. According to Wataneya, having the 12th round of the forum on Zoom was a big plus, they had many attendees register from different Arab countries. The next round is set to take place this November, follow Wataneya on Facebook to stay updated and informed on everything to do with alternative care in Egypt.