Egyptians and Americans partner to raise awareness on breast cancer

Cairo – Young Egyptian recipients of the “Leadership for Education and Development” (LEAD) scholarship partnered with the U.S. Embassy this week to organize a conference focusing on breast cancer, which is a leading cause of death among women in Egypt and around the world. The conference in Cairo emphasized the importance of early detection, and it marked the 11th consecutive year that U.S.-funded LEAD scholars have used the knowledge they gained at the American University of Cairo (AUC) to give back to their communities, either by volunteering their time or by hosting an event on an important social or health issue.

“As LEAD scholars, you have a unique voice at your school and in your communities,” Katie Donohoe, Education Director at USAID in Egypt, told the conference participants. “By raising awareness of breast cancer, you can increase the chances of early detection – and help save lives.”

Conference participants received extensive training from the Egyptian Society for Women’s Health on breast cancer symptoms, early detection guidelines, and self-examination techniques. They also learned how to support cancer patients psychologically and emotionally through the treatment and healing process. The closing ceremony featured speeches by representatives from LEAD, the American University in Cairo (AUC), and USAID, in addition to talks by health professionals as well as cancer survivors who shared their personal stories.

LEAD is a joint effort of AUC, the U.S. government, and the Ministry of International Cooperation that offers scholarships for students to study at AUC and obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to become future leaders of Egypt.

For nearly four decades, the American people through the U.S. Embassy and USAID have helped to improve the quality of life for Egyptians through nationwide programs in health, education, governance, and economic development. In addition to launching the U.S.-Egypt Higher Education Initiative that offers nearly 1,000 scholarships, exchanges, and university partnerships, USAID has provided nearly 600 scholarships to Egyptian universities for talented students from disadvantaged backgrounds and nearly 250 scholarships and fellowships to professionals to study at U.S. universities since 2010.