Supporting an Emergency Project to Help the Street Children of the Community of El Minia, Egypt
Project location: EGYPT, El Minia
Project start date: December 2011 - Project end date: December 2012
Project number: 2011-48
Beneficiary: Associazione Bambino Gesù Egitto Onlus
It is estimated that there are around two million street children in Egypt. Poverty, family breakdown, and child abuse and neglect, seem to be the leading causes for the problem. Many Egyptian families who are economically marginalized have become seriously dysfunctional, and have placed their children in circumstances that have resulted in such youth leaving home and trying to survive in the often unprotected and hazardous street milieu. According to the Egyptian newspaper Ahram, the situation of the increasing number of youngsters and children who live and work in the street in the Country is particularly alarming:
• 25% of them have got hepatitis C
• 83% of them were raped and beaten
• 97% of them have got separated or divorced parents
• 2% only attend school regularly
These youngsters live most of their lives in the street, sell paper handkerchiefs, clean car glasses, shine people shoes, shout addresses and itineraries, while hanging on buses, go about begging and finally, very often, they become pushers. All these youngsters look at their lives from a tarnished angle: lies, false witnesses, violence, compromises and cheap tricks are their reference values. These youngsters are bound to become future thieves and outlaws in society.
The "Associazione Bambino Gesù Egypt" has been working for two years on this problem. Up today it has helped 120 children (unfortunately only randomly for lack of funding) during Christmas and Easter festivals and with rare formative meetings.
The Nando Peretti Foundation has awarded a grant to implement a full annual project covering every specific need as far as human and social education, medical assistance, playing, learning a craft, guidance and working skills of these youngsters.
The project takes place at El-Minia and at 4 of its poorest suburbs and will last for a year. One hundred children (male and female) will be chosen.
• They will be tested by a medical doctor; they will be offered clinical tests for the prevention of diseases. They will be cured if already affected.
• Educational meetings will take place with the aim of reshaping their way of thinking and regaining confidence in a mature social life.
• They will be helped rediscover their skills through art workshops.
• They will introduced to work, after a careful evaluation of their attitudes through courses in private centers able to ascertain their chances for a suitable job.
The NPF awarded an additional grant for a second year of funding in 2012.