What can you tell us about yourself?
I am an Egyptian who was born and raised in Germany. As a child I had three dreams: One was to open a clinic and help people with their healing journey; the second was to build a school to educate children in Egypt and reduce child labour while offering them a higher quality life; and lastly, I aspired to be a writer.
What sparked your interest in charity?
My father used to engage me in charity activities and talk to me about poverty since I was a child. Whenever we came to Egypt during vacations, he would take me to different places like hospitals and orphanages; he also instilled a sense of giving in me by encouraging me to leave the homeless people we came across some money while teaching me how to differentiate between a person in need and one who is making a scene from inherent greed.
You said you were raised in Germany before you moved here; has that helped or hindered your propensity to give to the community?
We moved back to Egypt when I was 17. With my German upbringing, it was difficult on all levels to settle in Egypt, so as a result, charity work was always my gateway to survival, escapism and joy. Charity work and giving back to the community became my best friend; my life companion.
What did you major in and how has it helped you with what you do?
I studied Political Science/International Relations at the American University in Cairo. I then did my Masters in Business Administration and International Marketing at Maastricht School of Management, Netherlands through RITI Institute, Egypt. I worked in different fields over the past 14 years: Real Estate, International Marketing, Advertising and Telecommunications both in Dubai and Egypt. I livedin Dubai for three years in an attempt to find the perfect balance between West and East but I still I felt I was incomplete and I had to find my happiness.
How did you overcome that feeling?
Well, on my search for my purpose and living my dream, I started my Diploma in Hypno Integrative Depth Psychology Therapy (HITT) at GTH, Switzerland, through an institution in Egypt while I was working. This diploma was my drive to finally leave the Corporate world and start living my dream. I began to engage myself in consistent activities to give back to the community and develop the sense of hope that had been planted among many during that time across Egypt.
So, does that mean your charity work mainly targeted Cairenes during the revolution?
The revolution was mainly my turning point; I have been helping injured people and families who lost their friends and relatives in the chaos associated with the revolt. But then I realized I had to go out of Cairo because that is where I felt the voice needed to be heard the most. I have worked with different NGOs in Cairo, Menya, Fayoum, Beni Sweif and other villages in Upper Egypt and Nile Delta. My focus was to provide basic needs such as health, education, work opportunities, food, clothes and shelter for every Egyptian in need.
Tell us how you won the MBC Hope award.
I was nominated to represent Egypt through the MBC Hope award by Al Amal Foundation of MBC Group, Dubai, for living a selfless life and giving back to the community. Of course, I accepted the award and attended the celebration in Dubai. Group Head of CSR, MBC Group was one to approach me. We’ve known each other for a while and we’ve been meaning to work with each other but couldn’t due to the difficulty of receiving funds from abroad, but she still encourages me and follows my work on social media, which was how she nominated me for the award. It was to set an example of how it’s everyone’s duty to give back to the community; you don’t have to fall under certain criteria to win such an award, so long as you selflessly give back. I was honoured to be able to represent my country and I dedicated it to my belated mother who pushed me to go this far.
What can you tell us about ‘Sarah Foundation for Community Development’?
My interests slowly shifted from working on seasonal projects continuously to introducing more sustainable work such as renovating schools, building houses, roof tops, installing water in homes, building water stations, opening medical centres for mentally challenged children and finally building community schools among others. That is why I left Corporate life 19 months ago and dedicated my life to my childhood dreams. I am working now as a Therapist, specialized in Trauma and Grief. My foundation ‘Sarah Foundation for Community Development’ and my place for healing and education are currently in process. My foundation will integrate both sustainable projects and healing across Egypt and other countries in need for a better living.
You said one of your dreams was to be a writer; do you still plan to pursue that dream?
Actually, I wrote my first book ‘Reflection of A Self Discovery Journey’, which is yet to be published, about my own healing and self-discovery journey that started five years ago. I also wrote a chapter on “How Charity Work Transformed my Life” in a book called ‘An Arab Woman’s Notebook’, which conveys inspirational stories by Arab Women to the world.
You can follow Sarah Moussa on:
Facebook Group: Sarah Moussa Charity & Social Work Hub
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