Founder & Director of the Bashaer El Fagr orphanage
Maha Allam had always wanted to support children outside of parental care with more than just charitable donations. Unable to take children into her own home, she decided to start her own foster care project with a group of friends who shared her goals and interests. They agreed to start small and keep things simple, caring for no more than six or seven children at a time, only to find out that the mission was much harder than it seems. Maha found herself facing a shortage of experienced and well-trained personnel to hire and so decided to manage things herself, believing that no one else would be as invested or dedicated to the task.
A newspaper article about Wataneya was the answer to her prayers. After learning more about the organization and the training it offers professionals in the alternative childcare field, Maha did not only require her staff members to attend classes, but also started on her own journey of professional development. This proved to be a turning point for Maha, who completed several of Wataneya’s courses before moving on to pursue international certification from Pearson to become a specialist in children’s health and academic progress, as well as behavioral modification. Today, she uses her knowledge to design programs that teach children sustainable skills, such as research and critical thinking. Maha also hosts regular talks and workshops to share her expertise with peers in the community and her efforts saw Bashaer El Fagr win the Beit Helm Award for being a model for quality care.