03/19/2022 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Just a few months ago, Keroles Samy joined International Christian Concern’s child sponsorship program with Hope House in Egypt. While Keroles is beginning to adjust to Hope House—a program that will positively affect the trajectory of his life—his family life continues on as it did before.
Many of the men in Keroles’ family work in trade jobs. His uncle runs a training school for tailoring and his father works as a carpenter. If the Hope House center is open, Keroles attends his classes. But if not, he typically goes to visit his uncle and continues to learn his trade. When asked what he wants to be when he grows up, Keroles said, “I want to be [a] tailor, but for the educational path, maybe I want to be an engineer.”
This dual response to what his future might look like underscores the problem that many Christian boys in Egypt face.
Generational and systemic persecution discriminates against Christians, leaving them with few opportunities for development. Though schools do not typically disqualify Christians directly, their poor status often leaves them without the confidence and funding to pursue their education. They’re pushed into whatever work they can find at a young age in order to provide for the family.
When asked about his wishes for his son, Keroles’ father said, “I wish he could be an engineer like he told you.”
Keroles, though only 9 years old, already sees this disparity and is unsure if he will be in the small percentage that moves beyond day laborer positions and local trade jobs.
It is the goal of Hope House to combat this mindset and teach children how to recover from this abusive mentality that seeks to keep them oppressed. Because Christians are often not directly excluded by name, the government creates a veil of leaving opportunities for higher education open to Christians, but rarely engages in stopping the root causes of persecution like financial opportunities and access.
Keroles’ father said, “I always hear the [Hope House] center teaches children better than the school. My son only entered the center two months ago.”
In that short time, Keroles has expanded his educational and spiritual knowledge. He told ICC, “I learned a verse in church, which is, ‘And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.’ I learned the hymns and the stories, but I love the hymns that we hear every day through the loudspeakers. I want to learn to read and write because I went to the center a short time ago.”