A group from the British Council’s Active Citizens program is collaborating with members of the Fadilia Foundation to develop an underprivileged area in Egypt as part of a project called the “Virtuous Alley”.
Active Citizens is a social leadership training program that promotes intercultural dialogue and community-led social development. Together with the non-profit social enterprise Fadilia Foundation, they have launched four projects aimed at transforming the Ezbet Khair Allah area into a “Virtuous Alley”.
The first project is called “The Camp” and it aims to help children aged between four and 12 years old to discover their talents and passions through modern training methods and technology.
The second project, called “FnMade”, supports the creation of an online marketplace that would allow 3,000 people to showcase and sell 15,000 handicrafts and, in doing so, would help reduce unemployment.
“Sprout” is dedicated to cleaning, painting and decorating the walls of houses in the area.
The fourth and final project is “My right to live” which aims at securing free artificial milk banks for infants under the age of one year in order to support disadvantaged families.
Fadilia Foundation works in the field of community development for the sake of building the virtuous city community—or Utopia community—in underprivileged areas. They have launched projects aimed at creating sustainable development to empower individuals.
Ezbet Khair Allah expands over an area of 2 square kilometers (480 feddans) and has an estimated population of 700,000, making it one of the largest and most densely populated informal communities in Egypt.
Ezbet Khair Allah area is one of the largest unplanned communities in Egypt. Residents of the Ezbet Khair Allah have been living under the constant threat of having their homes demolished. They live without some of the most basic services, including water, sewage and electricity.
In Cairo, about 63% of the population lives in 81 informal areas, constituting 11 million people out of the city’s total population. In the Giza governorate, there are 32 slum areas, while Alexandria has 41.
Informal settlements in Egypt started around the 1960s due to the migration movement from rural to urban areas. People started forming informal communities while looking for jobs and a better quality of life.