Since the age of 12, Abanob, a street child, has been struggling with substance abuse problems, which hindered his ability to finish the education and find a job. Abanob almost forgot his own name, because everyone around him referred to him simply as “the addict”. But thanks to a HANDS-sponsored vocational training program, Abanob was able to transform his life into a story of a second chance. As he described, one of the leaders of the local church who knew and was concerned about him helped Abanob sign up for the vocational training sessions to learn mobile maintenance. After he graduated, Abanob became a much better and healthier version of himself: he not only successfully quit abusing drugs, but he also started to plan for his financial future. Abanob says he wants to open a mobile maintenance shop soon to apply the skills he acquired at the vocational training courses.

Hanan, a young woman from a village in Minya governorate of Upper Egypt received a sewing course in Think and Do’s training center Oasis. Her husband manages to find work two or three times per week, in various informal economy sectors. With his meager income, the essential needs of the family were barely being met, and schooling expenses for children were increasing as well. Hanan realized that she had to help with financial stability and this is why she signed up for the vocational training course. After completing the training, a new hope gave Hanan renewed energy and motivation. The staff of our partner made a regular post training follow up visit and were surprised to learn that she already started a micro enterprise! She formed a group of ten women, and taught them what she had learned in sewing course!

Hanaa and Ibrahim were a typical couple from Assiut, a city in Upper Egypt, who strained to make ends meet for their family of five. Growing up, Hanaa received only limited education, so she relied on her husband to be the sole breadwinner of the household until two years ago, Ibrahim fell off a ladder while painting walls on a job site. The doctor said he could no longer continue his painting job due to lingering pain and the permanent disability he had sustained.

In such a difficult time, Hanaa and Ibrahim strived to find alternative ways to support their family of five. Help eventually knocked on their door when both of them signed up for a HANDS-sponsored vocational training program. Ibrahim attended a driving lesson, enabling him to transition in a less physically strenuous position as a professional driver. This vocational training program is also turning Hanaa into a professional seamstress! Now that she completed her training, she plans to buy a sewing machine to work from home, making clothes for sale on the local market. This will allow both of them to earn and income and support the family at the same time!