Emergency Fund Provides Assistance to Employees (Available in Arabic)

To read the Arabic version of the story,click here.

Last semester, an employee at AUC faced an unexpected emergency — The floor of his home had collapsed, and he could not afford to repair the damages. Left with no other recourse, he applied for financial assistance through the Employee Emergency Relief Fund, established last year and supported by donations from the AUC community. After reviewing his case, the fund’s committee decided to help cover the cost of the repairs to his home.

The Employee Emergency Relief Fund was created to provide support for University employees who are confronted with an unforeseen financial emergency. The 2012 - 2013 Student Unioncontributed LE 100,000 to establish the fund, and there are currently 14 members of the AUC community who regularly contribute.

“The employees are happy about this fund because sometimes all other doors are closed,” said Laila Khalil, director of the Office of Human Resources. “This fund gives them hope because they know that they are supported by the University.”

After opening the application cycle in September 2013, the Employee Emergency Relief Fund committee has provided financial support for nine cases. The committee, which is composed of two representatives from the human resources office, one faculty representative, one staff representative, one student representative, a medical doctor, an ombudsperson and two syndicate representatives, examines each case and must make a decision within 10 working days upon receiving the application.

Among the cases the fund has provided support for was a single mother who was unable to pay her children’s school tuition fees, an employee whose wife could not afford a LE 3,200 medical treatment and another employee who was the sole source of income for her family after her husband was diagnosed with cancer.

All full-time employees who have been working at AUC for a minimum of one year are eligible to submit their case to the committee. “When an employee has an emergency or an unexpected economic hardship, they must fill out a form and submit all supporting documents,” said Hatem Hassib, director of staff affairs in the Office of Human Resources. “In some cases, if the fund is unable to support the request, the committee recommends alternatives.”

Despite the slew of cases that the Employee Emergency Relief Fund has been able to support, Khalil is concerned because the fund has not received many contributions. “There aren’t that many people donating to the fund,” Khalil explained. “We were expecting a lot more people to contribute, but they didn’t. Up until now we, thankfully, haven’t had a very serious case, but if one does come up, then we might not be able to support it because we haven’t received enough donations.”

In a statement made last June, President Lisa Anderson noted the AUC community’s commitment to service and its potential impact on the Employee Emergency Relief Fund. “Since responsible citizenship and service is one of AUC’s top priorities — and being a good citizen starts at home — the fund is supported through the contributions of members of the AUC community,” said Anderson. “Their gifts provide an indispensable safety net for our colleagues who may be confronted with unexpected, temporary financial hardship.”

To donate, contributors have the option of offering a lump sum or they can have a small amount of money deducted from their salary each month to go directly to the fund. Staff and faculty members can contribute by fillingout the online form.

To apply for assistance through the Employee Emergency Relief Fund,click here.