About the Foundation

Mission

I The Egyptian is a non-profit, non governmental foundation established in 2008*. Its objective is to address the suffering of the more than 14 million Egyptians who live under the poverty line through:

  • providing poor families with the necessary services to reduce the risk of a life under the poverty line
  • supporting youngsters and families who live under the poverty line.

 

* Registration number 559/2008

Approach

Activities provide essential care and services to street children and children at risk to enable them to realize their potential and become integrated members of society; and, through community service centers that provide a multitude of services to these communities, focus on low income and marginalized communities with high risk of having their children resort to the streets.

The logo

I the EgyptianThe logo represents an individual who is going towards a new path, an individual who was able to change  and improve his/her life.

The Board

Founders
  • Ahdy Ezzat Iskandar – Chairman
  • Marie Louis Bishara – Secretary General
  • Iman Soliman – Member
  • Hosna Rachid – Member
Members
  • Maged Samy Girgis – Member
  • Sahar El-Sallab – Member
  • Shahira Zayed – Member
  • Hesham El Kheshin – Member
  • Angela Goerge – Member
  • Rafat Riad – Member and Treasurer

History

2007-2008
  • Understanding the routine and challenges of children in the street
  • Right by Ministerial decree to use the 24 feddan land plot in 6th of October City
  • Non-profit foundation “I the Egyptian” is established
2009
  • November 2009 – The sceleton of the Mokkattam institute is donated to Ana Elmasry by the American Chamber of Commerce
  • November 2009 – Land in 6th of October city is officially assigned to the foundation
  • November 2009 – Signature of protocol with Ministry of Social Solidarity to foresee education and re-integration in society for street children in the “I the Egyptian”Institute, rather than imprisoning them in state-run youth centres.
  • December 2009 – The Cairo Chamber of Commerce donates 2.6mioLE to the Ministry of Social Solidarity to be used by Ana Elmasry for finishing the Mokkattam building
2010
  • February 2010 – Micro-loan branches in Shubra and Embaba open
  • March 2010 – Micro-loan branches in Helwan and Dar Es-salem
  • July 2010 – Start of vocational training – garment making classes
  • August 2010 – Nursery for children under 6 is opened
  • October 2010 – Micro-loan branches in Mataria and Shubra El-Kheima open
2011
  • April 2011 – The Foundation becomes part of the global network for children’s issues which is supervised by the NCCM (National Council for Childhood and Motherhood). The network emphasizes issues of street children, amongst other issues. The foundation attends a workshop, together with other NGO’s and international organizations to develop a unified framework for work with street children in Egypt.
  • June 2011 – Move to the Institution in 6th of October City
  • September 2011 – Micro-loan branches in Azbet El-Nakhel and El-Omrania open
2012
  • The micro-finance offices add services via on-site Community Services Centers which address push factors more generically through a focus on poverty alleviation in low income communities. At the present time, these are essentially micro group loans for women with limited additional services. These poverty alleviation services are administered through 8 small branch offices in low income areas around Greater Cairo (Imbaba, Mataria, Dar El Salam, Ezbat El Nakhl, etc).
  • Australian Embassy Direct Aid Program grant to start a pilot program to provide additional health, education and documentation services to the women entrepreneurs of the micro-loan system. The pilot program is operational in 3 of the locations served by the community service centers and has a limited number of beneficiaries compared to the number of beneficiaries of the micro-loans.
2013
  • Informal settlement program with Egyptian cabinet i.e. Relocation, health programs, illiteracy, micro-loans
  • Funding for the construction of a school building has been secured
  • Authorization received from the Ministry of Education for a community school with a capacity of 50 children. The school will be under the supervision of the Ministry of Education and will accept school drop-outs in the age range of 8 to 14 years. The children who will graduate from this school after taking the primary certificate exam are then allowed into the regular school system in preparatory stage. The system also allows for the use of more interactive and child centered learning techniques than those used in standard schools in Egypt which will help to keep the children engaged in the educational process.

Foundation activities

Outreach

Playing in the streets

Once a child is on the streets, he/she often does not want to give up freedom for the constraints of an institution, hence the need to coach and mentor through a non-formal education process so that they choose on their own to improve the quality of their life based on the opportunities provided for them.

These pull factors are addressed through outreach work with children on the streets. Weekly one day reception programs for street children provide more structured activities in a specific location, and a special program is followed for children new to the Institute.

I the Egyptian Institutes

The Children at Risk Institute is specialized in dealing with children at risk (i.e. street children and children who have been through the juvenile court system in Egypt) and in organizing activities related to both pull and push factors for specific children in the Institute. The main goal of the program and activities is the rehabilitation and re-socialization of children who have lived in the streets and/or have been abandoned by their families. The objective is to teach them basic values and life skills that will enable them to be reintegrated back into society.

The Institute has its premises in Sixth of October as part of a plot of land (24 feddans) allocated to the Foundation by the Government of Egypt. These premises currently contain accommodation and recreation facilities for up to 150 children and are part of a larger master plan for the land with additional accommodation facilities as well as extensive educational, vocational training and sports facilities which will be completed in the future based on available funding.

Currently the average amount of children in the Children at Risk Institute is 80. The children/youth have the possibility to get involved in arts, sports and to learn how to read and write.

The Institute also has another facility in Moqatam which is planned to be used to house young girls and/or young (unwed) mothers. Currently it is being used as the
reception facilities for the outreach team’s regular weekly activities with street children.

Health

MalnutritionIn addition to general medical care, children who have lived on the street often suffer from specific health problems that need some specialist care, namely: malnutrition, the dermatological problems, sexually transmitted diseases, and drug addiction. The Institute has a cooperation with SamuSocial, a French NGO registered in Egypt which works with street children through a mobile unit providing medical care, as well as El Basma clinic at Abou El-Rish hospital for children. Both have doctors with experience in medical issues of children who have lived on the street.

Education and training

Writing web largeThe Institute has recently received authorization from the Ministry of Education for a community school with a capacity of 50 children with operation just starting.

2013 also saw the beginning of the collaboration with  Mercedes-Benz’ Star Care and the partnership will ensure a new school building is built in the 6th of October Institute.

Education is considered one of the basic tenets of the I the Egyptian strategy. The Institute strives as much as possible to enroll the children in regular schools (36 children were enrolled in regular schools in 2012/13), whether governmental or private (based on individual needs).

This is however not always possible due to a lack of documentation (birth certificates) or due to the fact that the children have dropped out of the formal school system and it is difficult to reintegrate them back into it, especially as they are still adjusting to structure and trying to deal with trauma.

The Institute has a complete Montessori nursery program for 29 children in the 3 – 6 years age group.

The Institute has recently received authorization from the Ministry of Education for a community school with a capacity of 50 children with operation just starting.

2013 also saw the beginning of the collaboration with  Mercedes-Benz’ Star Care and the partnership will ensure a new school building is built in the 6th of October Institute.

Vocational training

20130801_182456---

The children 15 years old and older are provided with some basic vocational skills through cooperation agreements with organizations as well as through activities held on the Institute premises in 6th October. Some examples include sewing, carpet making, agriculture, and hospitality.

Micro-loans

Sahar embroidery

Currently I the Egyptian micro-loans has 2 374 active groups of 5 women lending money to improve the fate of their families. The lenders use their loans to e.g. embroider tissue and resell it at a profit or to buy make-up and hair products so they can make a living as hair dressers.

The program started in 2010 and since then the activities have expanded to 8 branches working in 42 low income locations in Cairo. In the 3 year period, the micro-loans have reached over 31,000 beneficiaries with almost 60,000 loans and have a 100% repayment rate.

Informal settlement

I The Egyptian is part of the monthly meetings with Egyptian cabinet (representatives of different ministries) during which slum areas and high risk/need to be relocated areas are discussed and action plans are put in place to bring the necessary change for the families. As of 2010, the funds to make these changes are then provided to the NGOs selected by the Egyptian cabinet and they work through the City Council to organize/implement programs for poor areas. Examples of such programs: Relocation, health programs, illiteracy, and micro-loans.

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