Afaf Wilson is working as a healthcare program coordinator in the Madent El Salam development center directed by EpiscoCare. Afaf grew up in the El Zatoun district of Cairo. She lived with her parents, and her sister and three brothers. She used to go to the Orthodox Church, and when she was older she served in the Sunday school. After her marriage, she moved to live in the Ein Shams district of Cairo. It is a slum area with a huge population. There are many churches from all denominations, as well as many mosques. Afaf is mother to two children; a boy in 6th grade and a girl in 4th grade.
Afaf is participating in the implementation of the health program supported by ABM at the EpiscoCare development center for the people of Madinet El Salam. She works in the health care activities helping pregnant women and sick children improve their health. She likes organizing and participating in the healthcare awareness meetings that improve peoples’ knowledge and awareness in order to protect themselves from diseases.
The major challenges her beneficiaries face are related to their unhealthy practices, which affect the health of their children, and the difficulty of changing people`s bad habits and attitudes. Afaf said that implementing her work is challenging. “Sometimes we face challenges when we implement the investigation labs for the children, when their mothers refuse and feel worried about their children, so we let mothers attend the investigations with their children themselves”. What motives Afaf to continue her work is her faith in God. She spends a lot of time serving the Lord in her church. “The spirit of service is to walk with my internal life,” Afaf said. Her work as health care coordinator, however, is not less important than what she does in the church. In contrast, she believes that her work is stronger because she can serve both Muslims and Christians.
Afaf is motivated by the improvement in her beneficiaries’ health conditions. This gives her the hope and motivation to go on. Afaf said “I never feel like I should give up because the programs and activities are serving people, and focused on the marginalized groups such as women and children who always need support”. Afaf helps pregnant women to have healthy babies and healthy follow ups. She also helps children who are suffering from anemia and worms. Through providing women with awareness meetings, she helps them exchange their unhealthy practices for healthy ones, such as preparing healthy food for their children and developing personal hygiene practices.
Afaf mentioned that “working as a team in the development center supports me in overcoming all of the challenges we face”. Afaf’s dream is to increase the community’s awareness and capabilities in fighting diseases and being able to protect themselves from threats through offering holistic services for the community of Madinet El Salam, either through healthcare or improving the environment.