By Inji Hassan
SAFE began when Sara Aziz met a teenage girl who had been sexually abused by her father. Since Aziz herself had been a victim of sexual abuse, the girl’s story resonated with her, and she decided to do whatever she could to help.
After studying abuse recovery and counseling in Denmark and the USA, Aziz founded the NGO Sexual Abuse Foundation for Education, aka SAFE. Its mission is to raise awareness about sexual abuse and to empower children to protect themselves in creative ways. Workshops for young children, for example, use songs and stories to teach kids to know their boundaries and safeguard their bodies.
Since caregivers play a major role in protecting children, SAFE also educates communities to train children of both sexes to refuse and report sexual abuse if they are exposed to it. Along with awareness programs and counseling for children and teens, it runs trainings for parents and teachers, too. Now affiliated to the Egyptian Ministry of Social Affairs, SAFE has begun working in schools, with a special curriculum for children starting nursery school.