Mama Maggie -  International Women of Courage

Mama Maggie - International Women of Courage

07 Mar 2019

“The Mother Teresa of Egypt,” and TAKREEM 2018 Humanitarian and Civic Services Laureate Mama Maggie to be honored at the US Department of State

On Thursday, March 7, Secretary of State Pompeo will host the Annual International Women of Courage (IWOC) Awards at the U.S. Department of State to honor 10 extraordinary women from around the world- Mama Maggie is one of them. First Lady of the United States Melania Trump will deliver special remarks at the ceremony.

Mama Maggie abandoned numerous opportunities provided by her elite upbringing and resisted restrictions against women’s leadership to establish Stephen’s Children (SC), a non-governmental organization that serves the most impoverished urban slums and rural villages in Egypt regardless of their color, creed, or faith. From its humble beginnings in a Cairo slum, SC has grown to a nationwide Christian institution that feeds, clothes, educates, and mentors children, as well as providing vocational training for adults with a program for empowering women and young ladies. Mama Maggie and SC save children’s lives daily in Egypt, a country of almost 100 million, nearly half of whom live in poverty. She has laid the educational foundation and provided economic salvation for tens of thousands of impoverished children. In addition to multiple nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize, Mama Maggie is the recipient of numerous Egyptian and international humanitarian awards. Frequently called “the Mother Teresa of Egypt,” Mama Maggie has worked to overcome the pressure of family and societal norms placed upon women of her class to establish an institution that incorporates the poor and forgotten into the Egyptian education system and economy.

The 2019 awardees are

Razia Sultana of Bangladesh

Naw K’nyaw Paw of Burma

Moumina Houssein Darar of Djibouti

Mama Maggie of Egypt

Colonel Khalida Khalaf Hanna al-Twal of Jordan

Sister Orla Treacy of Ireland

Olivera Lakic of Montenegro

Flor de María Vega Zapata of Peru

Marini de Livera of Sri Lanka

Anna Aloys Henga of Tanzania


Following the official award ceremony and meetings or interviews with government officials, NGOs, media, and others in Washington, DC, IWOC honorees will travel to individual U.S. cities on the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). American organizations and businesses will host IWOC awardees and collaborate with them on strategies and ideas to empower women both in the United States and abroad. The awardees will reconvene in Los Angeles for a closing ceremony before returning to their home countries

Now in its 13th year, the Secretary of State’s IWOC Award recognizes 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 recognized more than 120 women from more than 65 different countries. U.S. diplomatic missions overseas nominate one woman of courage from their respective host countries. The finalists are selected and approved by senior Department officials. 


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