Magda Gobran, also known as Mama Maggie, received an International Woman of Courage Award from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and First Lady Melania Trump in Washington, DC on 7 March.
Mama Maggie epitomises the courage and leadership required to uplift the disadvantaged, promote social inclusion, and advance the status of women in Egypt. She is the first woman from Egypt to receive this award.
The US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Thomas Goldberger welcomed Gobran at the embassy and expressed his pride in her accomplishments.
The award recognises Gobran’s selfless dedication to improving the lives of tens of thousands of impoverished children in Egypt.
She established the non-governmental organisation Stephen’s Children to serve underprivileged children of all backgrounds in the neighbourhood of Mukattam, providing them with food, clothing, free education and mentoring.
The organisation also provides vocational training for adults. Now with branches in nearly every governorate of Egypt, Stephen’s Children deploys over 2,000 volunteers to provide support and counselling, deliver blankets and meals, and facilitate medical treatment.
In over 100 community education centres founded by Stephen’s Children, children receive free basic education and adults attend literacy classes, giving them the tools they need to earn a living wage and lift themselves out of poverty.
Mama Maggie’s work merges with the US- Egypt strategic partnership, which aims to foster a growing economy and healthy, educated population.
Now in its 13th year, the Secretary of State’s International Woman of Courage Award recognises women around the globe who have demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality, and women’s empowerment, often at great personal risk and sacrifice.
Since the inception of this award in March 2007, the State Department has recognised more than 120 women from more than 65 different countries.