Misa village

Poor family in Misa Village, Cairo

The Misa Village is within sight of the Pyramids, yet poverty is ubiquitous here.

We decide to support one family on the eve of an important religious celebration and by shoes for the children.

Name family in Misa village near Giza
Aim To allow a destitute muslim family to celebrate their festival in dignity
Since 2005
Staff individual
People reached grandmother living with her daughter and four grandchildren
Contact take a bus to the Misa village before or after visiting the pyramids
Donation 600 EP (USD)

A visitor from Alexandria who wears sunglasses and tells me today is a good day for charitable giving since the heaven is open (it is the eve of the Islamic sacrifice festival) takes me from the Pyramids of Giza to the village of Misa. He knows his way through the muddy narrow streets to the very modest dwelling of a family of only women. I follow him to this family and have a look around. The grandmother, head of the family, is sitting outside, her back leaning against the rough wall of the alleyway. She is wrapped in a black cloth, yet her wrinkled old face with the dark eyes is visible. Inside, I see her daughter who is living with her after the death of her husband, and her children running around barefoot.

So much wisdom…

I decide to support this family, and ask what they could use. Shoes, they answer in unison, shoes for the children would be nice, and meat for the festival. Okay. In spite of my habit not to just give alms I agree and supply them what they need to celebrate in dignity.

We walk to the shop and buy six pairs of kid’s shoes, documenting the purchase with my camera. The shop owner is a smiling big man who writes an impromptu receipt for the shoes on a page of my notebook. We head back and I discreetly hand over the rest of the money to the grandmother. I take some more photographs to give an impression of their living condition: a small, barely furnished dark room with an old stove in the back, a modest bedroom with some carpets on the floor
Grandmother, whose husband passed away a few years ago, dragged herself inside and started to prepare tea. She can’t stand up because of a “knee problem”. I take it she has arthritis and tell them that my donation is either for her medical treatment or for the preparations of the festival. That is their idea too.

They invite me to celebrate the festival with them and that touches me. I have to move on though, there is a lot more to do for Charity Travel.

Misa village was originally published on Meandering home

Caritas Egypt

Caritas Egypt, Cairo

November 28th, 2009

Caritas Egypt does community outreach in empoverished areas of Cairo. They provide cheap healthcare and vocational training for marginalized and mentally challenged children.

We visit one of their centers in Cairo and make a modest contribution for the education of mentally challenged children.

Name Caritas Egypt, Mataraya center
Aim To help the poorest in Mataraya and its suburbs with medical aid, education and social programs
Since 1976
Staff over 35 workers
People reached over 1000 people are reached each year
Contact Ebtissam Kamel
ebtissam.mina at gmail.com

Donation 100 USD
Caritas Egypt operates a number of centers in greater Cairo. In Mataraya there is a compound center that serves the neighbourhood and its surroundings. The activities of this center are divided into five sections.
Basic clinical services like general medical checkup, oculism, ENT, dental care, among others are provided here.
They have a professional workshop where artificial limbs are produced along with other assisting equipment for the disabled like pairs of shoes with different heights to compensate for legs of unequal length.
The checkup is free for the poor and costs seven EP for others.
Woman development. This section offers a literacy program and second level education for girl that dropped out of highschool. They learn a craft, often against the will of the family who wants them to work and earn immediately. There is also a library free to use for everyone in the community.
A section for the mentally handicapped. There are cases of Down syndrome and autism. A training program is put in place that teaches the mentally disabled a craft. For 2-3 hours a day they visit the center, accompanied by their mother who learns about dealing with her child from the experts so she is able to apply it at home. Caritas has a specialized center that trains professional workers and mothers to pass on experience. They give special attention to child rights, and connect families so that they can assist each other.
Nearly 25 children live in the center’s orphanage.
The Motherhood and Childhood program is the first station where they check everything and often find out about a mental handicap or issues like malnutrition. The center offers lectures for the mothers, and even distributes milk and food.
Susan Mubarak, Egypt’s first lady, organized a contest and the center is proud to announce that three of the winners were trained here. The Christian girl who won the drawing competition had drawn Cairo’s most prominent mosque.
I think Caritas Egypt does very good work by running these centers, and they could use every support they can get.

Caritas Egypt was originally published on Meandering home