Photography: Hashem L Kelesh
Breaking the fast for these kids is not the same as for everyone else. When we say they enjoy it, they give a whole new meaning to that word, loaded with a genuine will to live a life of purpose despite the odds.
At their school in Konayyesa, in the outskirts of Cairo, they don’t have a curriculum to learn: they follow their dreams and aspirations. Educate-me, the Egyptian NGO that runs the community center, asks children to choose what they want to learn among several academic options. “By practicing the habit of choice, their internal motivation becomes the fuel for their development,” says Salma Afifi, the organization’s curriculum designer.
Last Monday, Educate-me held its first Ramadan Iftar at The District with the kids from the community center, who showcased what they learned throughout the year at the Judo and Zumba Kids Fitness classes. “I left school when I was 12, but this is way better because I discovered how much I actually like math –and sports, of course,” says 14 year-old Youssef with a grin.
“It was really important for the kids to be able to personally express themselves and interact with people from different backgrounds, they got to not only have a fun night but to show everyone a glimpse of what they have learned, which made them really proud,” Afifi said.
The Iftar was also a chance for the organization to raise 75% of the funds needed for their early childhood, youth and adult education programs, as well as the scholarship scheme they offer.