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
Youngsters cut off from families and school very often take the way to commit minor crimes, and scrape a living from small thefts. In other cases they become pushers, exploited by drug dealers, or they are faced with traumatic experiences of physical violence or even worse, sexual abuses.
With the help of the Nando Peretti Foundation, the association Bambino Gesù Egitto Onlus started a project to support and recover a group of street children living in the outskirts of el-Minia. The first challenge was to reach out these youngsters, due to their fear and mistrust that somebody would and could really help them. With extreme patience and care, the association was able to find their mothers and evaluate their individual cases. 100 children were selected, from the town of El-Minia and 5 villages of its outskirts. Both the children and their mothers were, first of all, assisted from a sanitary point of view, receiving medicines, specs and orthopedic visits. Then they were involved in meetings with psychologists and voluntary teachers. Workshops, courses for plumbers and carpenters and lessons to teach to read and write were organized. Little by little the youngsters have come back to a healthy life. About 50% of them have come back to school, at the same time following a rehabilitation course.
Particular attention was given to the mother as well. They were taught a trade to make them reach an economic self-support and allow their children to go back to school. Very successful sewing courses were organized, as well as courses to teach the women how to make white cheese, ice-cream and soap for laundry and dishwashers. This allowed many of them to earn some money to support themselves and their children.
A special effort was made to change mothers' attitudes with some good results. Mothers are learning that they cannot exploit or leave their children, while children are learning that one has to live out of his own work and not steal. Every youngster has been given a saving account to foster some projects of life. The association tried to discover child's talents and inclinations to drive their minds and potentials.