In Minya, like many conservative rural areas, girls are usually not allowed to play or take part in schools’ activities.

Sondos, an 11 years old girl, attending one of the beneficiary schools of “My School and I” project, had a different experience.

Sondos saw everything in her school changing throughout the past period.

“our classrooms are more colorful and clean, our teachers are now more dedicated in their explanation and are using more interactive methods.

Also, the school’s environment became a safer one especially for girls”.

Sondos narrates to us how the teachers used to severely hit the students even for minor mistakes, believing this is the best way to raise and educate a child.

Consequently, students were very scared of the teachers and couldn’t communicate with them, which hindered the educational process.

After attending several training sessions held by the project, the teachers started realizing the fatal mistake they have been committing, and learnt that hitting doesn’t only harm the children, but is also a punishable crime by law.

“I can’t believe hitting is finally prohibited in our school, it was a nightmare that created boundaries between us and our teachers” says Sondos.

The project also trained the school’s teachers on new teaching methods and improved the school’s learning facilities, which eased up the learning process for the students and made it more interesting to them.

The readability classes which are starting at the beginning of this academic year aim to improve the reading and writing skills of the students.

Sondos works in the school’s student union, which was initiated by the project to grant the students opportunities to acquire leadership skills.

The project encouraged girls to join the union too, which gradually removed the barriers between girls and boys at school and achieved equality among them.

Sondos really loves her renovated school, however she wishes one day her school would have a music room with a piano; she has been dreaming of learning the piano for a long time, and who knows maybe one day she would grow to become a famous pianist.


Wedad Nouman

“I’m tired”, she said even before introducing herself to us, It came from her heart and her exhausted features asserted it.

Time has had its toll on her wrinkled face and she looked 100 years old.

Her name is Wedad Nouman, from Tatalia Village, Assiut Governorate.

Wedad leant on the table before her, so as to sit quietly in her chair. Her tired body landed, which gives you the feeling – sitting before her – that the whole world came to rest, especially after the long sigh she uttered.

Down in her heart, there was a lot of pain reflected in her pitch dark clothes, as if she lost a dear one.

Wedad is certainly tired, but her success story is an example to be followed.

Her husband travelled to Iraq at the end of the 1990s and she didn’t hear from him again.

She didn’t know if he was alive or dead, let alone that of course he didn’t send her any money.

This went on for a very long time; for 18 whole years. A lonely woman who – all of a sudden – found herself bearing the responsibility of ten children.

A lot of women around the world are responsible for raising only one child, but she had to care for ten children.

She had every right to put emphasis on her words when she said “I’m tired”. “I pray God that no one sees what I have seen in my days”, said Wedad.

“He came back suddenly as he left suddenly, but he came with a dusty face, messy hair and a beard hanging on his chest.

He looked like a captive in a war won by no one. He looked as if he came all the way from Iraq on foot.

He came back after he has fallen sick, he came back with empty hands for his children, whom he abandoned and returned to find them grown men”.

When her husband left, Wedad did not give up.

She was keen to make her children continue with their education, but also to find them jobs during their schooling and in the summer vacation, so that they provide a source of income, no matter how little.

The girls were no exception, for she educated all of them.

She took part in money pools a long time ago, five years ago.

In the beginning, she participated with five names and got 2,000 pounds.

She took another 2,000 EGP loan and bought a small calf. She cared for it as she cared for her children.

The calf gave birth to two babies. She was so happy with them and took good care of them till they grew up.

She sold one for 12,500 pounds and the other for 8,000 pounds. This was a big wealth for this woman, who cared not only for her children, but for her grandchildren too.

She used this money in renting a small plot of land, to plant and provide food for the calf that produces milk, butter and cheese, that she sells to her neighbors, providing her with another source of income. Her children have grown and became men.

She said with relief, “My son takes care of the crops”. She wished.

she had someone to carry all her burdens. “I’m tired, I’m tired of my heavy burdens.

Even after I helped my daughters get married, I still care for them and their children, hence I’m responsible for my children and my grandchildren”.

As if it’s a chain of endless responsibilities, a chain that shackles her and burdens the exhausted old woman.

“Some people feel for me and others say why is she playing the man? Even when my husband came back from Iraq, he objected to my work”.

But the wise woman, who bore all these responsibilities and overcame all these hardships, managed to tame her husband who came back after long years.

She confronted him calmly and asked him why is he indignant. “I never asked you what happened in Iraq.

You came back sick and I took care of you. I never uttered a word”. “He backed and felt thankful for this faithful woman who waited for him all these long years.

Bit by bit he changed his opinion. When we asked her if he helped her she said “Help? He’s too old and can’t go around like the old days. If he supports himself that would be enough for me.”

“It is not shameful to work, but it is shameful to beg”, she concluded.

“This is what God destined for me”, She is content with all that she experienced and all that she achieved.

She still gives abundantly to her children and grandchildren, in spite of the hard lines time put on her face.


Machinery increase yields, value-added agriculture products

Agriculture in Egypt lacks machinery and equipment to improve the production process. Aware of such an issue, the EU- funded project, Hayat Kareema, accepted proposals of local CDAs and cooperatives for buying machinery that meet the needs of farmers’ communities.In Beni Suef, farmers suffer from high prices of rents, inaccessibility and poor quality of available machinery. For this reason, Ahmed Gomaa, director of the cooperative of El-Zaitoun village presented two proposals worth of one million EGP to CARE, through Hayat Kareema project, to provide tractors, a corn silage machine, a plough and a trailer. “Our role is to provide services to farmers. We already provide seeds and fertilizers, however, the cooperative is opt to optimize its role by providing machinery at affordable prices for farmers in El-Zaitoun village”, Ahmed says. “Up to the present moment, 1000 out of 1700 registered farmers have benefitted from the two tractors”, he adds. Flipping is important to preparing lands for the next cultivation season and helps increase yields by the end of the season. “Suppliers used to exploit farmers as they offered their tractors at high prices in El-Zaitoun. They know that farmers have no other option”, Ahmed explains. The cooperative offers tractors at lower prices, 500 EGP instead of 700 EGP as offered in the market. View the lower prices offered by cooperatives, in turn, suppliers decreased prices too. Nasser Hussein, a farmer in El-Zaitoun village praises the quality of the cooperative’s tractor, leading to an increase of his yield; and
highlights the importance of accessibility to machinery for improving agriculture production. “My wheat yield increased from 3.5 tons to 5 tons last season. Having a high-quality tractor next door- at the cooperative- is definitely a good idea. Previously, we used to search for tractors in surrounding villages. It was difficult to find one on the spot. We had to wait for a week till we get it to the village”, Nasser Hussein, a farmer in El-Zaitoun village says. Filtering and packaging is another example of introducing machinery in agriculture sector. Beni Suef governorate produces vegetables and fruits allocated for exportation.


Filtering and packaging, another example of machinery use in agriculture

Filtering and packaging is another example of introducing machinery in agriculture sector. Beni Suef governorate produces vegetables and fruits allocated for exportation. However, filtering and packaging process took place outside of the governorate which previously led to yield losses. Launching a filtering and packaging unit in Ezzbet Hussein Namek has created new job opportunities for many women in the village. The majority of women used to work in yield collection. Work conditions were harsh and remuneration was not good enough. “I used to go to the field at 5.00 am and turn back home after 7.00 pm. Farms are always far away from the village. Even in case of emergency, I could not go back home. No toilettes, no break area to rest, nothing! We work for uninterrupted hours”, Madiha Geneidi, one of the women workers in crop collection then filtering and packaging explains. “I have a four years old son. I have to leave him with one of the neighbors to go out to work. What if he gets sick?! I cannot come back home until all women finish the work and get into the car”, she adds. Women are paid 50 cents/ kilogram for both collection and filtering and packaging. For them, working next door in flexible working hours is better than the work in the crop field. “Any worker who wants to be excused for an emergency can leave and come back later to pursue the work”, Eid Imam, CDA chairman at Ezzbet Hussein Namek highlights. “I get paid the same amount of money but I get to work in a clean shadowed space with toilettes”, Noha Mahmoud working at the filtering unit explains. Norms prevent women from leaving their houses for long hours and go to long distanced places. “My husband would not let me work if I go to farms far away from the house. Filtering vegetables next door is a suitable job for me”, Noha says.
To ensure the sustainability of the unit, the CDA relies on training workers on delivering high-quality produces to exporters. It also plays the role of middleman between the producer and exporter through initiating contractual agriculture agreements.“We deliver training to workers about the required specifications of the end product to avoid any dismissals while delivering”, Eid explains. “We opt to keep this unit running for helping over 100 workers/day to improve their livelihoods”, he adds.



Today, CARE is turning 72 years of it’s global operations and work globally “Defending Dignity, Fighting Poverty”.
while CARE International in Egypt turned 63 today as we have proudly been in Egypt since 1954.