Women, including Randa, in Minya Governorate in Egypt, meet as part of the savings groups. Through the project, Randa has built her self-confidence to start her own small-business selling vegetables. She has also been involved in a women’s savings group, which supported her with a small loan to start a collective business with another woman making and selling desserts. In a short time, their capital has nearly tripled.
Today, we work in partnership with four Egyptian organisations to strengthen the resilience of communities, support people to understand how to access services and resources, and support young people to access employment for a more secure and hopeful future.
Our vision is for a just, equitable and peaceful Egyptian society, where diversity is celebrated and where all people can feel empowered and hopeful about their future.
In the spirit of true partnership, our mission is to listen, amplify and respond to local voices, and be ambitious and transformative by supporting innovative approaches.
- Strengthen the resilience of Egyptian individuals, communities and institutions to be better prepared and have a greater ability to respond when faced with threats to their lives, land and livelihoods.
- Empower young men and women to have greater economic opportunities for a more just and secure future.
In Egypt we work on
Our work in Egypt is part of the Egypt, Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory (IoPt) programme. The following areas of expertise are part of the new EIoPt Programme Strategy (2017-2022), which builds on our long-history of work in Egypt to date:
We support our partners to use participatory and community-led approaches with vulnerable communities in Egypt in order to identify the risks, opportunities and challenges that they face and then plan and implement actions to mitigate these risks. This approach allows communities to take ownership of their own needs and seek solutions that work for them, leading to greater impacts on the ground.
Youth and employment
Young people are among the most vulnerable in Egypt. Through our partners, we work with young women and men to develop their education, job, leadership and finance skills to equip them to have greater economic opportunities, and to help create a more secure future for themselves and their communities.
Ongoing insecurity and violence in the region continues to affect the lives of those in Egypt. In the event of an emergency, we respond through our local partners to provide immediate humanitarian support. Our partners on the ground provide support in the weeks, months and even years after an emergency has occurred, enabling communities to recover and rebuild.
Where we work
The majority of Egypt’s population live along the fertile areas of the Nile River, with some of the most vulnerable communities living in Upper Egypt (generally consisting of the Nile River valley south of the delta). Currently, we work in four Governorates in Upper Egypt - Minya Governorate, Fayoum Governorate, Beni Suef Governorate, and Cairo Governorate.
Our partner, the Coptic Orthodox Church (BLESS), runs the Community Integrated Development Programme. They currently work with 30 communities across Egypt, supporting them to undertake their own initiatives to end poverty, including providing literacy classes, health clinics, children’s programmes, awareness activities, agricultural training and advocacy to their local government.
A three-year women’s economic empowerment project, funded by the J.A. Clark Charitable Trust, has reached 1,800 women in six communities. The project, implemented by our partner Wadi El Nile, supports women and their community through awareness raising sessions for women on their rights and how to claim and protect those rights, public awareness meetings on topics such as violence against women and the importance of including women in decision-making, and training for women in business planning and investment. The project has also supported women to form savings groups, which provide small loans for the women to start their own small businesses.
To date, 29 women’s savings groups have been formed which has self-financed 480 small businesses. In addition to this, 37 women who were previously unemployed have been connected with and obtained jobs in the private sector and civil society.
Our partner, the Coptic Evangelical Organisation for Social Services (CEOSS), works with Egypt’s poorest communities, assisting them through agricultural work around the establishment and development of elected committees and farmers’ cooperatives, building the skills and capacities of farmers and strengthening food security in rural Egypt. Through this work, women have formed the first women’s farmers’ associations, and have set up some 70 small businesses.
Young people are one of the most vulnerable groups in Egypt, with high youth unemployment contributing to increasing frustration and tension in communities. With our partner, Better Life, an Active Citizenship project has worked with youth in three communities in Upper Egypt for three years. The project has built community cohesion through peace building committees, active citizenship clubs, sports and arts activities that encourage youth to work together, and by connecting young men and women with job opportunities.
In a joint project with our partners BLESS and CEOSS, we have already supported 1,115 Egyptian returnees from Libya with cash for work opportunities, food vouchers and psychosocial support. These humanitarian interventions will continue in 2017.
The more self-confidence I have, the greater success I can attain– I learned this slogan through being involved in the project, and it has encouraged me to do and be what I want... Now I earn money, feel self-reliant and have purpose in my life. This is genuine success!
- Randa, 18, Supported by our partner Wadi El Nile through a women’s economic empowerment project funded by the J.A. Clark Charitable Trust.
Egypt after the 2011 uprising
The popular protests in Egypt did not just materialise out of thin air. For years many Egyptians had felt cut off from the state and disempowered, craving not only political change but an end to the grinding poverty in which they lived.
Sparked by the uprising and subsequent toppling of Tunisia's president, Tuesday January 25, 2011 was to be the turn of ordinary Egyptians. This photo gallery shows the country two years on.
The grind – quarry workers in Egypt
Tens of thousands of Egyptians in the region of El Minya labour in stone quarries, where work is hazardous and badly paid. Workers' rights are routinely abused.