Mona grew up in a sun-soaked village in Upper Egypt, but always dreamed of a life larger than the one she saw around her. When she was accepted to attend university, she became a source of great pride to her parents and community. After years of diligent study, she looked forward to the many doors that a university education would open for her after graduation.

Once Mona graduated from college, however, these opportunities proved elusive.

Like many young women in Egypt, Mona was unable to find employment in her field even after several years of job-hunting. Finally, she decided to turn her hobby of sewing into a small business and began working as a seamstress from home. Mona’s skill and attention to detail drew a loyal customer base, and she soon began getting requests to make school uniforms for children in her community.

While Mona had steady work sewing school uniforms for her neighbors’ children, she lacked the commercial knowledge to expand her business. That changed when she heard about a program for young entrepreneurs offered by HANDS.

HANDS helped her think beyond individual orders to develop clients on a larger scale. Using the entrepreneurial skills she developed with HANDS, Mona managed to secure contracts to provide all the uniforms for several local schools. Because of this expansion, she has hired a team of seamstresses to help her, providing jobs for unemployed women in her community.


Although Mona was fortunate enough to find the training she needed, many Egyptian women still struggle in the work force. In fact, some sources estimate that only 23% of Egyptian women will find a job during their lifetime, with or without an education.

But you can help more women like Mona achieve the life they dream of–for only $130.

Hands Along the Nile sponsors several programs for women in Egypt. One program targets young entrepreneurs-like Mona-who need help learning how to create and expand their businesses.

Another initiative provides women from Cairo’s garbage collector communities education and training in marketable skills in the handicraft industry. If you’ve been to our Crafts of Cairo sales, you know what beautiful products these women produce from recycled scraps of fabric and paper.

Yet another program focuses on training young people–over 50% of them women–in computer skills and “soft skills” like teamwork, management and business communication. So far, over 2,600 young people have found jobs after completing this training.

For Mona and the many others who have found livelihoods thanks to HANDS’ efforts, these programs are transformational. As women like Mona work to fulfill their dreams of more promising futures, HANDS needs your help.

For only $130, you can make the difference in a young woman’s life. Perhaps you’ll consider generously sponsoring several women.  You could sponsor three women for $390 or five for $650.

We hope you will help us as we assist the enterprising women of Egypt in finding livelihoods that can support their families and their dreams.

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