We would like to introduce you to Yousra Harmoush – WSB’s Head of Volunteerism. We are so lucky to have Yousra part of the WSB team!
She was born and grew up in Cairo, Egypt. Educated in the French School through her secondary education, she first received a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Cairo. She worked for a multinational company Valeo on automobile software but spent her free time volunteering for worthwhile causes. She created a volunteer group, which created two community schools. She decided to change professions and hence attended the American University of Cairo and graduated with a degree in psychology.
In 2007 after being told that a career in the humanitarian field was not a “real profession” and to just volunteer, she searched and found a position in a small Egyptian NGO focused on economic empowerment and employment for youth and microcredit. In 3 ½ years, the group maximized their international donors to 15 with a budget of 15,000,000 Egyptian Pounds!!! ($839,000 USD)!!!! Wow!
Finding fulfilment in the developmental field, she thought it was time to continue her education! So she enrolled in and graduated from a Masters degree in International development from Poitier University in Paris. She continued to study and returned to American University in Cairo to receive a Masters degree in Psychology.
After returning to Cairo she worked with Save the Children in Egypt on an irregular migration project.
The war in Syria started…..she was called to work on a project with Save the Children in the camps in Jordan providing child protection and psychosocial support for children. She stayed in Jordon for a year.
Back in Egypt, she worked with CARE International in Upper Egypt where she found a much different culture than she was accustomed to in Cairo. Working on educational reform projects with underprivileged children she witnessed what education can really do to impact a child’s future.
Again, she and her friends came together and opened a third community school in impoverished Cairo……childhood education is a continuing passion.
Registering in a roster for humanitarian missions worldwide, she was matched with Action Aide International – a secular, emergency and humanitarian response group working in war-affected areas in…..the DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO!! A high-security mission due to the risk associated with the location…….as a SINGLE WOMAN! She worked for one year with Action Aide International on creating safe cities for women in one of the most dangerous locations for women worldwide.
Being successful, she moved to Tanzania for the same project (safe cities for women) for her final project with Action Aide…..another year.
During a vacation home in Cairo, she met a young man…..Tarik……knowing it was destiny they married after 6 months and she returned to Cairo to do the paperwork to move to Riyadh. But of course, she was not idle…..she worked in Toy 1- a children’s charity that helps educate children through play.
February, 2018 she landed in sunny Riyadh……..What to do here?
She googled to find women’s groups in Riyadh and by coincidence up popped the first WSB Connect event. She attended, met Tamara and the WSB ladies and …….here we are.
Asked about the most enjoyable part of working with humanitarian causes Yousra says it is helping people – the fulfilment of giving back and seeing good things come to reality.
The hardest part……the dark side so one talks about. The sadness, misery, negativity you witness can be a heavy psychological barrier that needs to be dealt with. But the value a person receives from knowing they make a difference is precious.
WSB is so lucky to have connected with Yousra…..Blessed.
We now have a wonderful professional to guide our group to interact with Saudi philanthropies and give back to society here.
To connect with Yousra, contact her on volunteer@wsbksa