The Wataneya Society for the Development of Orphanages will launch a competition for Egyptian orphanages named Bait Al-Helm (House of Dreams), an external relations manager told the Daily News Egypt.
The competition will award orphanages that apply the quality standards for care for orphans.
“The winner for the first category will receive EGP 20,000 award, a trophy and one-year technical support from Wataneya,” Hegry said.
“Each of the remaining four categories, which partially apply the quality standards, will receive EGP 5,000 and one-year technical assistance from Wataneya,” Hegry added.
Applications for the awards will start next month through the organisation’s website.
Discussing the financial situation for the organisation, which mainly depends on grants from partnerships and private sector, Hegry said that it has been stable during the past period.
In 2014, Wataneya received an award at the Dubai international awards for being the “best practice in improving living conditions”.
Hegry mentioned that the situation improves for hardworking organisations that have credibility.
Orphanages face crisis
Donations to orphanages have notably declined after the Mecca Al-Mukarama Orphanage incident.
In August 2014, a video of the Mecca Al-Mukarama Orphanage’s manager was released. The video, which was released by Uthman’s wife, featured him beating and spanking a group of 13 children, under the age of 10, one by one.
The board of directors for the orphanage was resolved following orders from the governor of Giza. Uthman was sentenced to three years in prison.
Hegry said the majority of the organisations she works with, around 80, were affected by the aggressive media coverage, which led people to stop trusting orphanages.
“From my talks to donators, I can tell you that donations declined by not less than 40%,” she said.
Who to trust
Hegry highlighted, however, that there are means to ensure donations are going to the right orphanages.
“People walk in and see well dressed children and they think that such orphanage doesn’t need the donations,” she said. “On the contrary, this means that this orphanage takes good care of the children and that the money donated will be allocated to those children.”
Donators should ask about the orphanage’s board of directors and make sure the orphanage is registered under the Ministry of Social Solidarity.
“Registered orphanages have a licence,” Hegry added.
Other indicators include that the orphanage has sufficient number of caregivers in ratio to the number of kids and that the caregivers are given training on how to handle orphans.