Ramadan is right around the corner, and with it, the opportunity to renew one’s sense of community and partake in acts of selflessness by giving back to their fellow man. While many find solace and joy in giving all year round, the holy month is a good opportunity to practice charitable acts as the chaos of the day-to-day slows down and the spirit of togetherness infects the air.
The aftermath of the pandemic, compounded with other recent global disasters, has seen marginalised communities already reeling from the previous year affected even further. However, an abundance of Egyptian charities and organisations have been working around the clock to provide relief for those in need. And they are in constant need of volunteers as well as donations.
In Egypt, the holy month of Ramadan sees a rise in philanthropic activities and an influx of donations, as charity is one of the pillars of Islam. Here are a few organisations and initiatives to take part in this Ramadan.
Women, globally, are affected by disparities in wages, and “are paid about 20 percent less than men” on average. In Egypt, while there has been some progress in the fight for gender equality, the unemployment rate for women remains higher than for men, as per a report released by UN Women in 2021.
However, in recent years, there has been an active effort to promote the education of women, and their inclusion in various fields by both governmental and non-governmental organisations (NGOS). Banati Foundation is a local centre that provides children at risk with the necessary psychological and emotional support to rehabilitate them either back into society, or within their families. Working with children that are living on the sidelines of society, and oftentimes in dangerous situations, Banati’s programmes aim to provide girls with the keys to financial sustainability, among other things. They achieve this through income-centred workshops, donations, and grants. Part of their activities include social and psychological aid, as well as access to education, and a safe space.
The organisation accepts volunteers and donations. You send a donation via Vodafone cash, Fawry or by bank transfer.
Learn more about their volunteering opportunities by visiting their website.
Save The Children Egypt
As of 2023, Egypt has registered over 291,578 refugees living within its borders, some of whom are unaccompanied children. Save the Children (STC) Egypt is a branch of the eponymous international non-profit organisation that has been working with children in the country since 1982. STC grants marginalised children access to education and health services, and protects them from abuse and exploitation.
Since 2000, the charity has registered a 53 percent reduction in Egypt’s child mortality rate as a result of the initiatives they’ve set in place.
With locations in Cairo, Alexandria, Sohag, Beheira and Assiut, STC Egypt is continuously working towards improving the lives of the most vulnerable by partnering with government entities and international organisations. Their work spans across 20 governorates.
You can donate, sponsor a child or send a gift through the website.
Egyptian Food Bank
Running for over 15 years, the Egyptian food bank (EFB) is the first institution erected in Egypt to combat hunger. Doing so through funds raised by Zakat (mandatory annual donation for muslims), sadaka (voluntary charity decided at the giver’s discretion) and donations, the organisation also aids in disaster relief and actively raises awareness on food waste. Every Ramadan, the organisation sets up options for providing food for those fasting and lacking the means to buy it themselves. The food packages the EFB distributes start from EGP 35 and go up to EGP 5000 with options ranging from a simple meal to 350 KG worth of food.
You can donate via Fawry, InstaPay, Talabat, or through their website.
Saint Andrews Refugee Services
Egypt is currently hosting 146,630 Syrian refugees, 59,896 Sudanese refugees, and about 64,035 marginalised individuals from South Sudan, Eritrea, and Ethiopia. Saint Andrews Refugee Services (StARS), which was founded in 1979, helps integrate incoming refugees within the community through programmes that tackle education and provide mental health services and support.
Caritas Egypt provides relief for the vulnerable and the displaced at a large scope. The organisation works within several sectors including handling the refugee crisis and aiding children at risk. For refugees, they work in conjunction with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Caritas Egypt integrates refugees and migrants into their host society by providing them with vocational training, emergency grants and medical services.
For those looking to reach communities on a global scale, Street Child is an international organisation based in the United Kingdom. It assists children all over Africa and Asia to gain access to education. For the holy month, they have launched the Ramadan Appeal where you can give zakat or a sadaka that goes towards supporting marginalised children.
You can donate through their website.
And because we haven’t forgotten about man’s best friend, animal shelters get a special mention as they survive mainly on donations and volunteers to keep up with the cases received on a daily basis.
Unleashed is a dog shelter in Sakkara that rescues and rehabilitates stray and abused dogs.
You can donate via Paypal, Vodafone or by bank transfer. Get the details, here.