Over the past three years, the Ishraq program in the villages of northern El-Minya, Egypt, grew from a novel idea into a vibrant reality. In the process, approximately 300 rural girls have participated in a life-transforming chance to learn, play, and grow into productive members of their local communities. Currently other villages—and soon other governorates—are joining the Ishraq network. Ishraq is a mixture of literacy, life-skills training, and—for girls who have been sheltered in domestic situations of poverty and isolation—a chance to play sports and games with other girls their age and develop a sense of self-worth and mastery; the program reinforces the lessons they receive in life-skills classes about hygiene, nutrition, and healthy living. This guide to the sports and games component of the program is geared to the needs of disadvantaged adolescent girls. It is intended for those in the development community interested in the potential of sports to enhance the overall impact of adolescent programs. Sports can be combined with other program components to give girls a more active experience, whether the primary focus is reproductive health, literacy, or livelihood skills.
Zibani, Nadia. 2004. "Ishraq: Safe spaces to learn, play and grow: Expansion of recreational sports program for adolescent rural girls in Egypt," Ishraq: Safe Spaces for Girls to Learn, Play and Grow, Program Document. Cairo: Population Council.
Ishraq: Bringing Marginalized Rural Girls into Safe Learning Spaces in Rural Upper Egypt