Nada Alfy Thabet, Founder of Village of Hope for Development and Rehabilitation of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities in Alexandria, has been named the 2018 Mother of the Year for Intellectual Disability, by the Kuwaiti association Al-Kharafi. Al-Kharfai holds a yearly celebration for Kuwaiti mothers alone, but decided this year to extend the celebration to include all Arab countries. Nada Thabet was nominated by Egypt’s Ministry of Social Solidarity. This year’s celebration will be held in Kuwait on Saturday 7 April 2018.
Ms Thabet used the one major obstacle in her life and turned it into an opportunity for the needy. In her booklet Village of Hope, she recalls the pain she felt after she gave birth to a son, Maged, who had severe physical and mental disabilities. Yet she moved on from the shock and pain that drove her to question her faith and relationship with God to fully accepting her son and, furthermore, dedicating her life to helping him and other children with disabilities. She founded her Village of Hope in Borg al-Arab, southwest Alexandria, which today caters for 50 children with mental disabilities. The ‘village’ is a fully functioning facility with children’s accommodation and classrooms, a bakery which they operate and the products of which are sold on Alexandria markets, a modest potato plantation with a cow, and a crafts centre. As to Maged, now in his late 30s, he is part of the team of trainers in the Village of Hope, functioning and helping other mentally challenged kids as well.
Ms Thabet was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 by the 1000peacewomen organisation in recognition of her contribution to society.
25 March 2018