Monthly Archives: October 2015

Craftsmanship: Girls’ Weapon to Defeat Unemployment in Informal Areas

Zamzam Soliman, a young lady less than 30-year old, joyfully participated with 300 young men and women of similar age in a large celebration organized by Think and Do Development Foundation”. Under No for Unemployment slogan, Zamzam told her success story against unemployment and poverty by practising a profession to provide for herself.

She said before all the audience “I am so happy! I do not know how to express my happiness. I do not believe that I have a profession to protect me from destitution and provide for a dignified life. I acknowledge before you all that I have a blessing: I consider the grant provided by Think and Do a blessing from heaven. We were desperate because nobody felt our presence amidst the crowds (which promoted some people and was unfair to others). Finally, there was someone to train me on hairdressing. I loved this profession for more than twenty years. Now, I open my hairdresser shop, which generates income to raise my family’s financial level.”

Zamzam was among 300 young men and women who joined “No for unemployment” project, implemented by “Think and Do Development Foundation”, in cooperation with GIZ and funded by the European Union (EU).

The project manager, Emile Nasim, indicated that the project focused on young men and women in Ain Shams, Cairo, and Warraq, Giza. The project conducted a field assessment for labour market needs for various professions. The project was promoted in cooperation with Ministry of Social Solidarity and the Regional Union in Cairo to attract young people and train them on these professions. Furthermore, the graduates were employed in 150 job opportunities. The other 150 trainees received tool kits of the professions on which they were trained such as hairdressing, tailoring, photocopying, mobile phones, etc. to become entrepreneurs. Accordingly, the youth income level increased, poverty and unemployment rates decreased, and, in turn, drug addiction, terrorism and crime rates decreased which would enhance productivity and national income. Most importantly, the project succeeded in creating job opportunities to support youth stability in their cities, reduce random migration, whether internally or externally, and fulfill the labor market demand on skilled labor.

Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Think and Do Foundation, Medhat Shafeeq, asserted the project sustainability in providing the same service to youth, even after project end. Field follow-up for graduates in their work places, either as employees or entrepreneurs is organized in order to check workflow, overcome any obstacle, and provide technical and administrative counselling. This can be done by trainers through workshops held by the Foundation. In addition, the trainees are introduced to the ethics of each profession to successfully interact with clients.

Mr. Medhat Shafeeq mentioned that since Foundation establishment in 2005 by Dr. Tawfeeq George, who is an expert in social and development work, it has been focusing on combating unemployment and youth employment. Workshops are organised to provide training on crafts such as hairdressing, barbering, mobile phone maintenance, tailoring, English language, computer, and women’s accessories. In addition there is an employment office inside the foundation that provides job opportunities for graduates, to develop youth mentally, socially and vocationally and enable them to fulfil their needs. Indeed, the foundation has trained and employed 7163 young men and women till 2015.

GIZ Advisor, Ms. Hala Morgan, who represents the EU-funded Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas, has mentioned that PDP works on improving education, health, environment, and youth employability in Egypt, in participation with the civil society and government institutions. “No to Unemployment” project is implemented by Think and Do foundation, through providing technical support to train youth on necessary technical skills. Training methods do not only include learning about a profession or craft, but also focus on marketing, planning and feasibility study skills. Thus youth will be able to find job opportunities, in conformity with the state’s plan for serving youth and community.

A true and realistic story of the young people who said no to unemployment is the story of Neema Wasfy Salam. She excelled in hairdressing thanks to trainers from the foundation. She is able to start her hairdressing shop, and before that she has been used to go to clients in their houses. Emil Hakeem excelled in tailoring for men and women. He is trained on taking measurements, drawing patterns, and technical handling of the sewing machine. He is in competition with his colleague Asmaa Ismail. Fahmy Mohamed Fahmy excelled in computer maintenance, thanks to his trainer Maged Azmy from Think and Do.

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PDP Meeting H.E Dr.Mostafa Madbouly Minister Of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development

On Thursday, the 1st of October 2015, a meeting between the Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas (PDP), His Excellency, Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development (MoHUUD), and representatives of the Informal Settlements Development Fund (ISDF) was held in order to discuss PDP’s affiliation to the Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development.

Dr. Günther Wehenpohl, Programme Coordinator of the PDP, made the opening remarks. He introduced the PDP as an Egyptian-German development measure implemented in cooperation between the former Egyptian Ministry of Urban Renewal and Informal Settlements (MURIS) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. He then pointed out that the programme is currently in its third phase ending in December 2018 and is co-financed by the European Union (EU), in addition to the core-financing from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the contributions by the Egyptian Government. This was followed by a presentation on PDP’s activities by Mrs. Sundus Balata, Deputy Programme Coordinator of the PDP. The presentation underlined the overall objective of the programme, which is to support public administration and civil society organisations in collaborating for the improvement of services and environmental conditions for the poor urban population.

Subsequently, H.E. Dr. Madbouly expressed his appreciation for the work of PDP and confirmed that the MoHUUD will be the political partner of the PDP. H.E. then highlighted the importance of upgrading unsafe areas as one of the priorities of his ministry. H.E. further emphasized the importance of rapidly achieving concrete improvements in informal areas and was pleased to learn about the PDP’s EU-funded grant scheme on service provision and the Direct Awards that focus of basic infrastructure through Direct Awards to the Governorates of Cairo, Giza and Qalyubeya amounting to 13.3 million.

Dr. Madbouly stated that he appreciated PDP’s support in developing a national strategy for the upgrading of informal areas and that this would be done under his leadership and in cooperation with all concerned ministries. This strategy will be linked with the 2030 sustainable development strategy in Egypt prepared by the Ministry of Planning. In addition, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development is currently drawing up a plan for the complete upgrading of all unsafe areas within the next three 3 years. Dr. Madbouly invited the PDP to consider supporting the Ministry’s efforts in improving unsafe urban areas, in addition to its socio-economic upgrading measures in the informal areas in Cairo, Giza and Qalyubeya.

In their final remarks, H.E. Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, the PDP representatives and the representatives from the ISDF affirmed that their common goal is to improve the living conditions in informal areas and that an integrated approach to urban upgrading will be the most adequate response to the challenge of dealing with Egypt’s informal areas.


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8m€ European Grant to Support 3 Informal Areas in Qalyubeya

Qalyubeya Governor Engineer Mohammed Abdel Zaher held a meeting today with the Coordinator of the Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas (PDP) Dr. Günther Wehenpohl to discuss the 8 million€ European Union (EU)/ German government grant given to Qalyubeya governorate as part of the implementation of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)-PDP. The grant aims at upgrading the infrastructure of three informal areas in Qalyubeya governorate.

The governorate, being the competent authority, is meant to receive half of the grant value following Direct Award procedures to implement programmes aiming at upgrading three informal areas in Qalyubeya, namely Shubra El-Kheima, Qalyoub and Khosoos, while the second half of the grant will be used by Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to implement parallel programmes in synchronization with those implemented by the governorate. Qalyubeya governorate’s contribution to the grant constitutes 10% (equivalent to 450, 000€) out of the total value of the grant.

During the meeting, it was emphasized that the implementation of the programmes eligible to receive the grant will begin no later than March 2016 and will continue until March 2018. The programmes to be implemented will be chosen in light of the results of the Participatory Needs Assessment (PNA) conducted in cooperation with Qalyubeya Urban Upgrading Units (UUUs) for the three target areas. Based on the PNA results, a long list of the programmes that the governorate wishes to implement will be drawn up, provided that the budget for each programme does not exceed €600,000.

Eng. Abdel Zaher called on the German side and the EU to ensure a speedy finalization of any relevant procedures so that the programmes can be ready for implementation before March. On the other hand, Dr. Wehenpohl emphasized that the implementation would begin no later than March 2016.

Eng. Abdel Zaher and Dr. Wehenpohl reviewed a recent project implemented in Qalyubeya for the establishment of a Transfer Station in Khosoos City to which the collected waste (estimated to be 400 tons per day) is transferred then transported, using large and well-equipped trucks, to the Integrated Resource Recovery Centre in Khanka City so that it can be used in the production of Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF), an alternative for fuel oil which can be used for the cement industry, as well as compost which is used for farming.

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