Laila Risgallah

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2013


This profile was prepared when Laila Risgallah was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2013.
The New Idea
Childhood sexual abuse, which almost always has lifelong terrible consequences, is widespread, but long was unmentionable in Egypt. Laila has forced it out of the shadows, using many tools—ranging from her own television broadcasts to three teacher champions in a growing number of schools who train everyone else (students, parents, teachers, nurses) in prevention/detection/response.

Laila works all along the spectrum from prevention to rehabilitation. For example, children learn what sexual abuse is, how to reject and report it, and that it is not their fault. And everyone—from students to nurses and parents—learns to spot the symptoms and what to do. This work is backed up by well-developed curricula for each age group and gender.

Laila has now won over the government which will soon be using her curricula across its schools.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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