Bayonne, NJ—Students at Rutgers University, NJIT, and George Washington University have come together to help children from economically-struggling communities in Egypt and Ecuador. The students—when they are not writing papers or studying for finals—manage the operations of Save the Children of the Developing World (SCDW), serving as officers, directors, committee members, or general advisors. Their responsibilities include overseeing the fundraising efforts of six student chapters that they established in high schools across the state.
The organization was started in 2017 by Abanoub Armanious, then a Bayonne High School student and now a sophomore at Rutgers double majoring in Public Health and Cell Biology & Neuroscience with a minor in Religion. Armanious, a first-generation American and college student who is an aspiring physician, founded the group after traveling to Egypt and Ecuador and observing the dire economic conditions and the lack of a social safety net.
“When I walked along the streets of Egypt and Ecuador, I saw malnourished children working arduous jobs,” he said. “If they had access to basic educational and nutritional resources, that would not have been the case and so, I vowed that when I came home, I would try to make a difference.”
Since its founding, SCDW has focused on education through its Project Educate, which provided uniforms, shoes, and meals to students from three grammar schools in Ain Shams of the Cairo Governorate in Egypt and a grammar school on the south side of Quito in Ecuador. Meanwhile, the organization’s Project Backpack provides day to day essentials during difficult times. The college students packed up school supplies for children in the Qalyubia Governorate in August 2019 and then provided children in the Cairo Governorate with personal care products in December 2020 to prevent further transmission of the coronavirus.
SCDW plans to expand Project Educate and Backpack in both countries and in other nations, but, in the meantime, the organization has announced the creation of Project Health and Project Shelter to improve children’s accessibility to healthcare services and their home environments. All these projects, however, are funded through philanthropic donations from the public and the organization is seeking additional support.
“We are working on providing families in Egypt with a custom box of nonperishable food items through Project Health and are communicating with the same schools, orphanages, and communities we have assisted before to assist them again, but we can not do anything without our supporters,” Armanious said.
So, they urge more communities to get involved by donating and/or creating chapters, fundraisers, and donation drives so they can continue to complete more launches of their projects.
About Save the Children of the Developing World (SCDW): SCDW is a NJ Nonprofit Corporation based in Bayonne, New Jersey and managed by a group of college students who are dedicated to improving the wellbeing of children living in third-world countries by providing them with the tools to pursue their interests and become the person they dream to be. They have been ranked Platinum on Guidestar—a nonprofit information service—for being transparent on their different projects and how they have worked towards fulfilling their mission.