Meet the Speakers
Abla Al Alfy
After realizing that doctors and nurses may not have the time, capacity, or sometimes knowledge to advise new mothers, Abla introduced licensed Child Nutritional Counselors to the Egyptian health system. Primarily from outside of the medical profession, they are changing the landscape of the healthcare system, dedicating themselves to serving new mothers in hospitals, primary care clinics, community centers, and in their homes. Child Nutritional Counselors focus on educating and changing the behavior of new mothers so that they adhere to proper and safe nutrition practices for their children in the first critical years of life.
Although Abla works with traditional doctors and nurses to ensure that they have the right information to pass on to mothers, the key to her work is engaging those closest to new infants and mothers—such as other mothers, midwives, family members, and community actors who are trusted and influential in decision-making.
Through seemingly simple provisions, the impact of systemizing and institutionalizing support services and resources for new Egyptian mothers cannot be underestimated. After completing training to attain certification, Nutritional Counselors provide real-time health and nutritional support to mothers during their child’s first two years of life. Abla is strategically targeting their work on the most at-risk population, which ensure maximum gains in nutrition rates in Egypt.
The Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population has recently agreed to adopt and integrate this new certification process into the public healthcare system. In addition, the government has pledged to support Abla’s plan to create Child Nutrition Centers within public hospitals, primary health care (PHC) centers, and community centers.
Donia Ebrahim is the 20-year-old founder of Greenpreneur, an initiative was born with the vision that every child should have access to the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will enable them to think, act and live green and sustainably. Her team has designed an interactive curriculum program that not only expands children's horizons in environmental science and engineering but does so in a fun and engaging way!
As a dental student, Enas faced a serious challenge: very bad oral health in her community. She decided to found E!Dent, an integrated curriculum designed and illustrated by dental specialists to raise awareness and fight oral-care myths. They work to teach people how to brush their teeth, floss, choose toothbrushes and paste, as all of these are important steps towards healthier and stronger teeth.
Arab Philanthropies Lead, Microsoft
Samar Halawa is a proud mother of 3 years old twins and a professional philanthropist.
She received her bachelor degree in Specialized Translation from Sorbonne Paris III and the French University in Egypt. After completing her bachelor degree, Samar did multiple internships in the field of translation and communication including Ahram Hebdo, Egypt Independent, Regional Center of Renewable energy and Microsoft in PR department. However, she was unsatisfied with this career path as she wished to continue her career in social & economic development.
Therefore, Samar started her career in this field and worked in multiple organizations such as UNDP, Silatech, Innovety and lastly Microsoft.
Today, Samar is the Philanthropies Lead at Microsoft covering the Arab countries and she focuses on building economic programs that equip underserved youth with Digital, Business and employability skills required to landing a job and to start their businesses in the Digital Transformation Era.
Ashoka Fellow and CEO, WeCode
Wala Kasmi, a multi-award-winning entrepreneur, is the CEO of WeCode.land. WeCode is an EdTech startup providing instructor-led learning experiences to help bridge the skills gap in the workforce. Combining her background as a Youth Advocate and Computer Sciences Engineer, Wala built a unique and scalable learning model and reached more than 13,000 trainees in the last 7 years.