April 19, 2018, Cairo – Volunteers in Action (VIA) student club at The American University in Cairo (AUC) held its 13th annual group wedding for orphan brides this past weekend. Each year, VIA helps five orphan brides celebrate this special moment and settle into their new homes. Throughout the year, the club helps an additional 30 brides prepare their new homes.
This year, 350 guests -- friends and family of the couples -- celebrated this memorable occasion in the University Garden. Student and alumni volunteers had been preparing for this day for months, raising money and collecting various donations to help five couples start new lives together and furnish their homes-to-be with all of the essentials, including a bedroom set, kitchen, refrigerator, stove with a gas cylinder and washing machine. Donations were collected both inside and outside AUC and totaled EGP 80,000. The club also held a Brides Fair prior to the wedding celebration to collect clothes and home accessories for the brides and their future families.
"During my freshman year, I joined VIA as a housing member and was a bridesmaid for one of the brides. The next year at the wedding, I saw that bride with her baby. She was invited because one of the brides was her relative. She remembered me and said thank you for changing my life. These moments are why I never left VIA throughout my five years at AUC,” said Menna Ayman, mechanical engineering major and VIA president.
One hundred volunteers, including current VIA members as well as alumni, showed up to usher in and seat guests, snap photos, serve food and cake and fill up the dance floor.
These volunteers also had the support of a number of sponsors to throw the perfect wedding celebration. CocaCola provided drinks, Tamara Lebanese Bistro offered meals, Le Carnival sponsored the cakes and dessert, and L'Oreal helped with makeup and veil design. Additionally, Careem offered transportation to and from the event for guests.