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“Um Sherif” a Role Model for Motherhood

“All I want is to secure my son’s future”… This is her main motive which she long-faced many difficulties to achieve. “Um Sherif”, aged 68 years, her husband divorced her while “Sherif” aged one year and four months, because her only son was diagnosed with minor Motor Neuron Disability by 5%. “Um Sherif” did not give up and worked in garment factories, production companies producing cassette tapes, and restaurant kitchens, until factory owners started giving her returned merchandise from shops, to sell them and increase her income. Only then “Um Sherif” learnt the assets of buying and selling.

“Um Sherif” did not complete her studies, but reached 3rd prep, and this is what has enabled her to help “Sherif” till he graduated from college. “Um Sherif” succeeded in providing a living for her son, and “Sherif” returned the favor by obtaining a Bachelors of Arts History Department from Cairo University in 2012. He also obtained a certificate in Maintenance and Assembly of Computer. And now, “Sherif” works full-time with his mother.

“Um Sherif” joined Al Tadamun Microfinance Foundation in 2008, until she became able to build a wooden kiosk near her house, after she spent years working in selling sheets and towels for the neighbors from home. Having taken the official consent of the government, her neighborhood helped her in building the kiosk. Beverage and food companies’ salesmen, deliver the products periodically to the kiosk, accordingly, “Um Sharif” earns a daily revenue. Kiosk location is very strategic, she said. Where an elementary school is located to the right of the kiosk, and a coffee-shop in the opposite side. This provides different types of customers. In addition is Ramadan season, where Suhur is held in the street, and people buy juices and dairy excessively.

Building the kiosk is not a mere financial gain, but “Um Sherif” wants it to bond and support her son after passing away. About her dreams, she hopes to devote the next funding to buy another refrigerator, and that she helps “Sherif” marry, but she said cheerfully that if she got an opportunity to go to Umrah, she won’t care then if “Sherif” got married or not.