Human Services

Coptic Orphans

Transforming generations through Egypt's fatherless

aka Coptic Orphans

Merrifield, VA


Coptic Orphans is an award-winning international Christian development organization that has transformed the lives of over 55,000 children in Egypt since 1988. We believe that through long-term programs that focus on education, we can affect the vicious cycle of poverty.

Ruling Year


Principal Officer

Ms. Nermien Riad

Main Address

PO Box 2881

Merrifield, VA 22116 USA


Children, International, Coptic, Egypt, Development, youth, education, health, nutrition, Religion, girls, literacy, empowerment





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

International Development, Relief Services (Q30)

International Relief (Q33)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Social Media


Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

When most people think of "orphans," they think of children in orphanages who have no family members at all. In fact, many orphanages in Egypt are filled with children who have living family members, only because their widowed mothers cannot afford to feed them. Additionally, Egypt's widows are often severely restricted by traditions. Often they can't leave their house to work – even if their children are hungry. This is an injustice. We also work to prevent child labor and reduce early child marriage by helping children stay in school and reclaim the dignity that many of them lost when they lost their father and struggled in the face of poverty.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Not Alone Program

Valuable Girl Project

B'edaya Microfinance Initiative

Where we work

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Number of children served

Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

The Not Alone Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

Coptic Orphans aims to unlock the God-given potential of the most vulnerable children in Egypt through the power of education. Our holistic approach, through grassroots partners & volunteer networks, provides each child with access to quality education, nurtures their spirit of volunteerism, and develops their well-rounded character, so they can break the cycle of poverty. The goal of Valuable Girl Project is to provide young women with leadership, mentoring and study skills so they can succeed in school, change their family, their community, and Egypt. The goal of B'edaya Program is to provide loans that allow each mother to harness her own inner drive and abilities, and be transformed from a helpless, house-bound widow into a self-sufficient businesswoman who is a role model for her children, an asset to her community, and of worth to herself. Serve to Learn is 3-week volunteer program that tackles educational empowerment and global health in undeserved communities in Egypt.

Through Not Alone, we empower the disadvantaged fatherless who are at high risk of dropping out of schools. It supports them financially and morally so they complete the highest form of education. It also supports them through one-to-one mentoring, home visits, regular workshops, and leisure trips to help build their self-confidence, and develop their social skills. Through the Valuable Girl Project, along with skills-building, the project educates & advocates for young women as they navigate red tape in Egypt. The Valuable GIrl Project also takes the lead in working with the entire community, both Christian and Muslim. In doing so, we believe, Christians become the true salt of the Earth. Through our B'edaya initiative, we continue providing microfinance loans and coaching for Egypt's brilliant, brave, entrepreneurial mothers, allowing them to start a business in anything from animal husbandry to selling groceries.

Over 450 Church-based community leaders, the “Reps," serve as advocates and mentors to our children. The Reps come recommended by their own bishops and priests, & our staff in Egypt offers them regular training's in how to support and protect the children. Day in and day out, year after year, each Rep builds a long-term relationship with the children they serve, connecting with each child through home visits, life-skills workshops, and community activities. They work to achieve the Not Alone Program's goal of increasing each child's academic achievement, building a well-rounded personality, and nurturing their sense of volunteerism as future leaders of Egyptian society. By connecting the children with these building blocks for a successful life, Not Alone helps prepare them to break the cycle of poverty and empowers them. We follow a transformational development approach that emphasizes the role of compassion and religion in achieving positive and sustainable change in human lives.

Through monitoring, evaluation & reporting we developed objectives, targets & indicators that measure progress towards achieving its intended results. 1. Education: NAP children advance in their formal education from one grade to next level as school conditions permit; attitudes change positively toward the value of education through the development of study habits until s/he graduates. 2. Personality: NAP children build strong personal values such as respect, responsibility, tolerance, compassion, based on their family and their faith. 3. Volunteerism: NAP children will demonstrate greater commitment to their communities by serving others in their family, community, school and church. They will develop leadership skills that will equip them to become change-makers in their communities. They will become aware of their rights regarding security of education, food, health, shelter and safety, as well as their responsibilities as productive leaders in society.

Statistics show that results achieved by students enrolled in the Not Alone Program are substantially better than average national rates. 2017 highlights: -108 NAP participants earned scholarships to help them qualify for & attend public/private universities in Egypt. -5/70 students won the LOTUS scholarship, a prestigious scholarship offered by the USAID. -10/100 Egyptian scholars won the USAID scholarship to study at a higher tier public universities. -235 NAP participants graduated from universities equipped with advanced skills & academic degrees as they enter the workforce. -1,500 local girls & young women enroll as Big and Little Sisters in the VGP educational mentorship program. -We awarded the Future Leaders Scholarship to 34 exceptional Thanaweya Amma graduates who demonstrate advanced academic skills, leadership potential, & a service mindset. -We awarded 243,500 EGP in microloans to 42 B'edaya mothers as they launched the 2nd phase of their local microfinance projects.

External Reviews



Coptic Orphans

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Senior Staff, Full-Time Staff, Part-Time Staff and Volunteers.

Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.


This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Diversity Strategies

We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
We have a diversity committee in place
We have a diversity manager in place
We have a diversity plan
We use other methods to support diversity