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Combating multidimensional poverty on the outskirts of Cairo

Coptic evangelical organization helps impoverished residents acquire knowledge and skills to cope with threats

by Margrit Saroufim Mina | Mission Crossroads

At-risk youth take part in a Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services workshop. (Photo by Ahmed Saeed)

The Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services (CEOSS) Local Development Unit — serving Cairo, Giza and Qalyoubia governorates — aims to build resilient communities, families, individuals and local organizations.

Through cooperation with all stakeholders and other supporters, special focus is given to combating poverty and improving quality of life for the poorest, most vulnerable citizens, including women, children at risk, unemployed youth, small farmers and people living with or at risk of conditions such as blindness.

CEOSS provides comprehensive developmental interventions to address multidimensional poverty and to develop the poorest rural and urban communities. The unit strives to increase the capacities of local citizens to be more resilient and to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to be able to cope and adapt to current and expected threats.

CEOSS programs help build houses for people who are poor.
(Photo by Remon Frawzy)

Poverty alleviation programs and interventions of CEOSS include:

  • Facilitating vocational and administrative training and non-financial support services for unemployed youth.
  • Upgrading and improving homes for poor families.
  • Reducing discrimination by speaking out to stop violence against women (early marriage, female genital mutilation, domestic violence) in marginalized and poor communities.
  • Working to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities and their families.
  • Improving the health of the most vulnerable citizens, especially women, children and people with disabling conditions, through awareness-raising and prevention interventions.

CEOSS programs support the needs of people with disabilities. (Photo by Nadra Nabil)

  • Integrating at-risk and street children into recreational and artistic activities and trips with the intent of providing health, education, social and cultural opportunities.
  • Supporting women working in the informal economy sector and encouraging them to move to the formal sector, while assisting them in accessing sustainable insurance, health and social opportunities, and allowing them to work in a safe environment.
  • Protecting against blindness by providing eye health services, medications, eyeglasses and surgical procedures as needed.
  • Working to improve the health and well-being of young, malnourished children by providing awareness and education interventions for mothers, as well as medical follow-up.
  • Providing health and psychological support services to adolescent girls through awareness groups, counseling and health screenings to help them maintain healthy dietary patterns to prevent long-term negative effects of anemia and malnutrition.
  • Providing emergency and rescue services during times of crisis, such as COVID-19, which requires quick response and immediate implementation of interventions.

Margrit Saroufim Mina is director of the Local Development Unit of CEOSS, based in Cairo, Egypt.

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