Best Buddies Egypt
Best Buddies Egypt was launched in 1999 when Mrs. Magda Moussa decided to bring this much-needed program to Egyptian schools and universities. With a total population of over seventy million people, Egypt has a sizeable number of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), many of whom receive no proper training or schooling. The problem is compounded by widespread poverty and the scarcity of facilities for people with IDD, making the integration of them into society an even bigger challenge.
Despite these difficulties, the idea of providing opportunities for the socialization of persons with IDD and their proper integration is not a new one in Egypt. It was long implemented by Mrs. Moussa in the schools she directed. She was always keen on establishing classes for persons with IDD and encouraging them to mix with the rest of the students. However, the idea was always limited to a small number of schools and was never implemented on a nation-wide scale. After all, such a project would undoubtedly require a large degree of coordination between schools and universities, associations for persons with IDD, volunteers and parents, not to mention technical expertise and financial resources.
Best Buddies provided the institutional framework that would make that possible. By bringing together people with IDD from different schools and associations across Egypt and their peers from public and private schools and universities, Best Buddies Egypt provides a venue for the development of mutually enriching friendships that will last a lifetime. It allows young persons with and without IDD to challenge stereotypes and to become leaders of change in their communities.
Throughout the years, Best Buddies Egypt has expanded with more chapters and a higher number of matched buddy pairs. In spite of some setbacks over the past few years, Mrs. Moussa persevered in her desire to make Best Buddies Egypt grow, never taking no for an answer. She motivated her volunteers to overcome all types of challenges.
In 2009, the disability community suffered a great loss with the passing of Mrs. Moussa, but her legacy lives on. We trust that Best Buddies Egypt will reach new heights with the support of all its volunteers and contributors so that Mrs. Moussa’s dream – shared by so many of Egypt’s youth – of a society with complete integration for persons with IDD can finally become a reality.