Egypt Rotaract Project
Rotaract Changes Lives in Alexandria, Egypt
German-Egyptian Rotaract project named
"European Best Rotaract Project 2005-2006"
"Responsible Parenthood, Skill Developoment and Micro-Loans" in the slum areas of Alexandria, Egypt is the proud project of Rotaract District 1860 (Germany) and the Rotaract Club Alexandria Cosmopolitan, District 2450 (Egypt).
And proud they should be! Said one Rotaract leader: "Let's face it: the world population is exploding! Children are being born on and on. The majority of these children, however, will never be able to live a life of the quality we enjoy in Europe today. This is one of the main issues our generation will have to deal with in the future, so we need to start today to do something about it."
The goal of the project was to help the poorest women living the in slums of Alexandria, Egypt by providing financial and educational support. Beginning in 2001, this project has helped 1400 people improve their living situation.
1st Phase - Training Programs
- Literacy classes: The women learn the basics of reading and writing or to improve their existing skills
- Vocational Assessment: The women are trained in the general and special skills they need for their future job
- Population & Development classes: These lessons combine public health education, community health, information about sexually transmitted diseases and responsible parenthood as well as information about adequate nutrition
2nd Phase - Using these skills
- These poor women use micro-credits to establish their own business. Businesses include: selling fruits and vegetables, carpentry, sewing, groceries, home appliances only to name a few.
- Example: one micro-credit loan supports a mother as well as 5-6 relatives. Women receiving Micro-Credit loans are between 20 and 40 years old.
Project Management and Financing
- The members of the Rotaract Club Alexandria Cosmopolitan are responsible for organizing on the spot activities. Their job is to select and support the women. They organize the lessons together with an NGO called "PLAN International".
The Eqyptian Rotaracters in Alexandria supervise the loans and repayments of micro-credits
- The German Rotaracters from D 1860 were responsible for financing. First, a New Opportunity Grant for US $5,000 was obtained from D 1860 matched by another $5,000 provided by RFPD German Section. For the second part of the project, the Rotaractors from D 1860 themselves raised $5,000 which was again matched by RFPD/German section for a Matching Grant of $20,000. In total, $30,000 was raised for this project - an incredible accomplishment for young Rotaracters
- The project was an excellent example of cooperation between Rotaracters from two different countries, NGO Plan International, the UNFPA, the Rotarian Action Group for Population & Development and the Rotary Foundation
Results so far and expectations for the future
- Over 1400 people have already improved their lives
- 24 families were able to expand their businesses
- 600 cases should be closed by the end of the project year (2007-2008)
- 4,000 people in Alexandria will have directly benefitted
Rotaracters and Rotarians interested in implementing a similar project can contact Nici Elshorst, Katrin Jorke and Kerstin Theilmann, RAC District 1860, Germany.