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Empowering Egypt’s forgotten community

Sherine is giving visually impaired people the tools to succeed in the workplace

Sherine Sabry

Unilever Hero: Sherine Sabry

Teaching practical skills

The President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has pronounced that 2018 will be dedicated to people with disabilities. This group accounts for 15% of Egyptian society and yet are economically excluded, almost entirely absent from the labour market. Four years ago, Sherine Sabry had already decided that she wanted to do something to help this community overcome the stigma imposed upon them by society just because they are different.

Sherine started the Nour initiative in 2014 with one simple aim: to provide the visually impaired, and those facing other challenges, with the training and development they need to compete with normally-sighted job candidates, and then give them opportunities to access employment.

Working with a local NGO, Nour began by helping seven visually impaired people gain employment in direct sales to consumers, using a simple Braille label added to packs to make the selling process feasible. Today, Nour has helped to train and find rewarding employment for 70 people. In particular, it has focused on enhancing the livelihoods of women by finding them a role within Unilever Sustainable Living Plan projects that they wouldn’t otherwise have been able to access.

Giving women a sense of worth

Sherine says: “The independence that we provide these women with gives them a sense of self-respect and achievement. After succeeding beyond their imagination, they have the strength and confidence to break free of the constraints society sets upon them.”

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