Since 1982, Save the Children has been working to help Egyptian boys and girls enjoy childhood and reach their full potential.


Egypt Success Stories: Ahmed Abdel Naeem Zanati

“I want to know the meaning of all words and how to read and write.”

Ahmed was only one year old when he was taken to hospital for treatment, after developing a very high temperature. Some time after this serious illness his mother noticed that he appeared to have problems with his hearing – frequently he didn’t reply when she spoke to him or answer her calls quickly so she visited a doctor to find a solution to this problem.

The doctor diagnosed Ahmed with a defect in his hearing and said that he needed to get a hearing aid to help him better communicate. But Ahmed didn’t use the hearing aid on a regular basis. As a result of not hearing well he lost his ability to communicate with others and become withdrawn and introspective, preferring to be isolated from others.

His mother considered this a natural result of not hearing well. When Ahmed’s mother heard about Save the Children’s Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) program activities in her community she went to her local CDA (Community Development Association) asking them to enrol Ahmed in the ECCD class, hoping that this would help him have an opportunity to learn and socialise with other children.

Before joining ECCD Ahmed was very shy and isolated as a result of not hearing well. Because of this, he had no friends to play with. He therefore developed a very strong connection with his family as he found it difficult to deal with others.

After joining ECCD Ahmed initially found it difficult to communicate with other children, so the day care givers started some group activities to help Ahmed overcome his problem but he still couldn’t understand what was going on at first.

During a routine medical check up in the ECCD classes the doctor checked Ahmed’s hearing aid and he discovered that the hearing aid didn’t work. After changing the hearing aid, Ahmed’s hearing improved dramatically and step by step he started to interact with other children. He became more aware of what was going on around him. He became very active, started to enjoy team work and thrived in his daily ECCD classes.

“Thanks to Save the Children for this program - it helps my child very much. I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t found this place for my son.” - Ahmed’s mother


Early Childhood Care and Development

In Egypt, Save the Children’s ECCD program promotes the social, physical, psychological, and cognitive development of young children under the age of six with the aim of increasing the proportion of children who enter and succeed in primary school education.  The ECCD program began in 1997.