Rev. Dr. Andrea Zaki, head of the Evangelical Community, and head of the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services, honored Mrs. Nevin Al-Kabbag, Minister of Social Solidarity, by gifting her the shield of the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services, in appreciation of her role and efforts in serving the citizens through serious and continuous community work.
This came during the participation of the Minister of Social Solidarity in the celebration of the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services, headed by Reverend Andrea Zaki, head of the Evangelical community in Egypt, of the distribution of the Samuel Habib Awards for Excellence in Voluntary Work, at the CEOSS headquarters, in the presence of Dr. Hisham Tawfiq, Minister of Public Business Sector, and a number of political and popular leaders, executive directors, and a group of Islamic and Christian religious leaders, intellectuals, media personel and civil society leaders.
This year’s awards were won by the Association for Caring for the Children of Imprisoned Women in Cairo Governorate, and the award was received by the journalistic writer Nawal Mustafa, the association’s founder, who cares for the female prisoners and their children, whether they are still imprisoned or after their release. Also Tassony Dolagy, the nun in the Diocese of Minya, won the award and donated it to the Children’s Cancer Hospital 57357.
For her part, the Minister of Social Solidarity expressed her happiness to participate in the award ceremony of the Reverend Samuel Habib Award for Excellence in Civil Work for the year 2022. This award that was established by CEOSS in the year 2000, valuing and encouraging the legacy of the great late Dr. Samuel Habib, which is a legacy of voluntary and civil word to which he dedicated his life, in order to serve the community and the masses of Egyptians, as he was keen to provide the services of CEOSS to all members of the society without discrimination with a focus on the disadvantaged, poor and marginalized groups throughout the Republic of Egypt.
Al-Kabbag added that CEOSS in Egypt is keen to support civil society and civil volunteering, a role that the Egyptian state values, along with President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, who declared the year 2022 to be the year of civil society, stressing that the Ministry of Social Solidarity is keen to support civil work and to open all fields to it. This is what it was keen on doing during the preparation of Law No. 149 of the year 2019 for regulating the practice of civil work, and its executive regulations, which included many advantages, whereby common and legal persons, or both together, may launch or implement an initiative or campaign to apply, one or more, of the civil work activities authorized for implementation by the NGOs, with the freedom to obtain personal funding. The law gave NGOs more freedom as well to expand their social projects.
The Minister of Social Solidarity explained that she views civil and voluntary work as an effective means to increase cohesion, stressing that the ministry is in the process of launching the national strategy for volunteering and the national strategy for civil work. She is also working on restructuring the Fund to Support NGOs, and the Fund will provide grants and financial support for NGOs, as a part of strengthening the partnership between the state and the civil society to support social entrepreneurship, pointing out the state’s confidence in civil society and its desire to develop partnerships with it to enhance the capabilities of civil society and come up with creative and innovative solutions to deal with the social and economic problems and challenges facing the state. Especially since the state desires a strong civil society that moves from merely providing services to providing projects and programs that improve the type and quality of life, and bring the beneficiaries out of the cycle of poverty to become an important addition to the capabilities of the Egyptian government, economically and socially.
For his part, Reverend Andrea Zaki, head of the Evangelical community in Egypt and head of the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services, said that the Samuel Habib Award for Excellence in Voluntary and Community Work is one of the most important events and activities organized by the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services that support civil society organizations, enhance their role and encourage the mindset of volunteer and community work. The award also bears the name of a great banner of community development, and the effective societal role of the clergyman and of the religious institution in society, the late Rev. Dr. Samuel Habib, founder of the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services, and the former head of the Evangelical community in Egypt.
He added that the award is granted to one of the civil institutions that is distinguished in community work, and to a Christian leadership that has a contribution in social work, because of the importance of the role played by the late Dr. Samuel Habib as a Christian clergyman who was engaged in community service and who became a model in this field. He also pointed to the President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s announcement of the year 2022 to be the year of civil society which is considered the culmination of the efforts of the Egyptian state during the previous years, and a reflection of its comprehensive vision towards community and voluntary work and sustainable development. Mr. President also called on the institutions of the civil society to continue working side by side with the institutions of the Egyptian government to achieve sustainable development in all fields and to spread awareness of the human rights that contribute to the realization of the hopes and aspirations of the great Egyptian people. At the top of these efforts is the “Decent Life” initiative, which represents a realistic embodiment of the concept of sustainable development as a part of the human rights strategy, and an icon of community and voluntary work.
The head of the Evangelical community in Egypt praised the great role played by Mrs. Nevin Al-Kabbag, Minister of Social Solidarity, who is an inspiring Egyptian model in bearing responsibility, and sincerity at work, which is based on scientific foundations. She is a researcher specializing in the field of civil society. Over the past years, she has participated in several initiatives and cooperated with many entities and institutions in community work, adopting humanitarian, social and national issues; such as the issues of female genital mutilation, violence against children, the empowerment of Egyptian women, the issues concerned with people with disabilities, and providing support and development to villages and families that need it the most. She continued to work after assuming the Ministry of Social Solidarity in 2019, with the aim of achieving the Egyptian state’s vision towards the process of sustainable development, community work, and effective and influential partnerships with civil society organizations to change the lives of millions of Egyptians.