[Exclusive] What happens when special needs students reach 18? That's the question Hope Academy is here to answer.
At 18, as per official educational policies, special needs students across Egypt have to end their tenure at their schools. With no universities or higher education institutions formally equipped to cater for the students, most students often end up being locked up at their homes with no hope for a shred of independence or happiness in their future.
Six Egyptian parents were faced with the cruel experience in the summer of 2018, and they decided to immediately jump into action. In one month, the six parents pooled their resources and built Hope Academy, the first institution of its kind in Egypt. Convinced that their children are destined for greater things, the parents, along with expert special needs teacher and school principal Nagla Ahmed, decided to curate an educational program that combines essential academic subjects with intensive vocational training that gives the students a chance at entering the job market. Their vocational workshops include wood workshop, hydroponic farming, ceramics, recycling, cooking, jewelry making, sewing, and music.
The school is currently funded solely by the parents, but they aim to one day establish it as a center of learning and education for special needs students from all over Egypt, and that it could one day contribute to making society realise that having special needs isn't equal to being disabled. All we need to do is to find that 'special' ability each one of them could have, and then build on it to give them a chance at even a relatively self-sustainable life with routine, purpose, and most of all hope in a better future.
Whether you have a special needs individual in your family, a business that's seeking to hire professionally-trained individuals, or simply looking to support the unique initiative, you can reach out to Hope Academy via Facebook and Instagram.
Video by MO4Network