Horizon FCB's latest campaign is an investment designed to release fined women from prison.
Tens of thousands of women are sent to prison in Egypt every year. Their crime? Not being able to repay loans borrowed for amounts of only a few hundred dollars.
These women are known simply as “Al Gharemaat” or “The Fined”. The money they borrow goes to pay for medicine, emergencies and to take care of their families. However, the consequences for when they are not able to pay off the loans are devastating and lead to significant prison sentences, and having to leave their children and families to the unknown.
We created and launched a humane initiative, Breakchains with Blockchain, inspired by the reasons for their imprisonment, we created in collaboration with artists from around the world, NFTs. Each is designed to tell a woman’s story, the story of why she was sentenced. Each NFT is priced at the amount it will cost to free them, from their sentence and give them a second chance at life.
Reham Mufleh, General Manager of Horizon FCB Dubai commented, “This is one of these moments when you fall in love with your job all over again when you see how creativity, data & technology can change people’s lives for the better!
Such a passion project. When we first started working on it, it was just another job. But the more we learned about this issue, the more we wanted to help & the more we wanted to give. And every time we faced a hurdle, we never gave up, we just kept going until we freed the first 3 women from their debt. This is a feeling you can never put a label on”.
Mazen Jawad CEO of Horizon Holdings added, “Helping others in need hasn’t changed. Our Never Finished approach has changed. Learning about this social issue created a disruption in us to stop and think… but listening to the heartbreaking stories of those women was enough to trigger creativity, effort, engagement, and commitment from the whole agency feeling a sense of responsibility and commitment to enable change. Bringing data, creativity, and technology together in perfect equilibrium to enable freedom for those women to unite them back with their families and loved ones was priceless”.
We launched Breakchains with Blockchain on Mother’s Day in Egypt on the 21st of March 2022. On this day three mothers were released with funds raised from NFTs, meaning these women are no longer “Al Gharemaat”, and can finally be home with their families.
One of these women is “Rabia”, who when her sister died wanted to honor her memory and took a loan to pay for her daughter’s wedding. After being diagnosed with breast cancer she was too unwell to work and make the payments, she was arrested and sentenced to 2 years in prison. The amount she borrowed was only USD$254.
“Children of Female Prisoners Association” is one of the most active NGOs in Egypt working with Al Gharemaat and their children. It was founded in 1990 by Ms. Nawal Mustafa, winner of the "Hope Maker" award from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Working in partnership with Horizon FCB Dubai, together they are raising donations and awareness of this issue around the world, by utilizing a medium everyone is talking about, NFTs.
We still have more women to free, but even when they are all released our work is still Never Finished. We will continue working to raise awareness about this issue, ensuring the women have the resources and education they need until the Al Gharemaat are a thing of the past.