Garnett Genuis writes: Mama Maggie
Last week, four of my caucus colleagues and I were pleased to nominate Maggie Gobran, or “Mama Maggie” as she is better known, for the Nobel Peace Prize. I also spoke about that nomination in Parliament. Mama Maggie’s story has inspired me and so many others, and further recognition will help her continue to expand her work.
Mama Maggie has been referred to as “the Mother Teresa of Egypt”.
Thirty years ago, Mama Maggie founded a non-profit charity called Stephen’s Children in order to better the lives of many families living in the slums of Cairo. She came from an affluent family and was initially largely unaware of the struggles many children and families face in her country.
Being a young, married professor of computer engineering at the American University of Cairo, shehad in many ways achieved the success for which many young professionals strive in their careers.
When a ministry within her church undertook a trip to feed and clothe the people residing in the Cairo slums, she decided to go. On this trip to the slums, she noticed a baby crying in a pile of garbage. She then picked up the baby and began to cry herself. After this she immediately had a heavy weight on her heart and knew that she needed to do something. This was a turning point in her life. She then decided to leave the professional workplace to directly serve those in need in the slums.
Stephen’s Children has since grown expansively and now has more than 2,000 volunteers who help and serve everyone they encounter to obtain food, clothing, medical care, job training, and education. The ministry exists not only to serve the poor and disadvantaged, but also to elevate them to a sense of their dignity as children of God.
Mama Maggie’s organization isn’t just working to meet people’s basic needs; they are giving every individual a sense of dignity and humanity, ensuring each person’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs are being met. She has consistently shown that an attitude of humility and love reaches the families living in the slums more than anything else.
In learning about her work and engaging with those in her organization, it is clear that Mama Maggie has no intention of being honoured for her remarkable selflessness, dedication, and radical love for each person she encounters. But recognition and awareness matter because they help to strengthen her important work