Support to Humanitarian Activities of "Bambino Gesù Egitto"
Project location: EGYPT, El-Minia
Project start date: December 2006 - Project end date: This project covers various years
Project number: 2006-37
Beneficiary: Associazione Bambino Gesù Egitto Onlus
March 2011 update
Over the past two years, the economic situation in Egypt has significantly deteriorated. The price of food has doubled. Malnutrition, anemia, weight loss and many other childhood diseases are increasing.
The crisis of early 2011 has further aggravated the political and social situation, especially in El-Minia. The old government had created gangs for the killing of Christians people, and after the government's fall, these killers were in a complete disorder, without leaders and money, so they made "in house" gangs for spreading terror on the roads, stopping cars and robbing the owners or taking possession of vehicles and killing people.
Hundreds of criminals have escaped from prisons, came with arms in the remotest Christians' households, and taking possession of homes and all their contents under the threat of weapons.
Hundreds of people have lost their homes and their cultivated lands, under threat of death. For the Christians were required to pay taxes to stay alive, or a lease to stay in their homes. The offices and banks were closed because the employees were confined at home for terror of leaving, pharmacies were open only a few hours a day not to be sacked and finding food has become very difficult. The schools were closed and many children have begun to go armed to the streets. Ninety-five prisons were empty and robbed of all weapons.
Christians in this situation were the most vulnerable, subjected to harassment and revenge, with no protection.
In this chaos that hit the country, the price of food has increased dramatically. The food supply has become difficult and dangerous and feasible only for a few hours a day in some areas of the city. Fortunately, the entire organization for the provision of food for the children had already been implemented. Food products for children, such as cereals, butter, juices and sugar had already been purchased and stored in warehouses. At least half the meat and poultry had already been frozen.
For this reason the Association, thanks to the donation of the Nando Peretti Foundation, was able to continue the project "A bag for life" and 150 families in serious difficulty, selected after careful analyses in the peripheral villages of El-Minia, were able to continue to receive each month a lot of food such as rice, pasta, sugar, meat or chicken, vegetables, butter and dried fruit. These poor families not only received food from the volunteers, but also a Christian message of love, joy and peace and the consolation of faith.
From June 2010, for each family, 1500 food bags were distributed regularly every month. It is expected that at the end of the project in June 2011 about 4500 food parcels will have been donated. During Christmas and Easter 2010 the number of bags of food distributed has risen up to 6000.
The new Vivid 5 machine has been put in place in our new cardiograph centre, situated on 25 Khasib Road in El-Minia.
The Vivid 5 is an extremely perfected piece of machinery, and thanks to the Nando Peretti Foundation our centre alone can use it to treat the sick.
There is, in fact, the inferior Vivid 3 version of this machine present all over the city of El-Minia, in Islamic centres and is available to patients at a very high cost (180 pounds per visit). The center is open to everyone, Christians and Muslim alike and costs half that of the Islamic centre (75 pounds per visit) charging only those who can afford to pay (about 50%). For the poor and the needy the analysis are completely free.
In normal times every day some 20 patients are cured. Ten of them are fee paying patients. With their contributions the organization was able to run the hospital centre, paying the rent of the premises, doctors ‘fees and day-to-day expenses.
In the last six months the organization has seen an increasing number of muslin women, who would rather choose this centre than the Islamic one in the town of Al-Minia. This is probably due to the high quality of the equipment and possibly to the human treatment for the patients which has always been a special mark of the Centre.
Unfortunately, now in the extremely difficult time Egypt is living, the medical centre of the town of El Minia has just begun to operate after two weeks of shut down. The organization wishes the political and social setting could come to normal as soon as possible to enable it to resume our full operation and offer its services to everybody.