Meet Our Mission Partner: Hands Along the Nile Development Services

By Jennifer Cate and Laura Carroll

HANDS is thrilled to have been chosen as one of FAPC’s mission partners, and we would like to tell the FAPC community a bit more about the work you are making possible in Egypt.

You may know of HANDS from the annual handicraft sales that FAPC has been hosting, which support women in the garbage collector community of Cairo. By providing for literacy and handicrafts training, you are helping these marginalized women lift their families out of poverty.

The next Egyptian Craft Sale is coming up on May 5-7. Click here for details!

HANDS was also proud to organize a mission trip for members of FAPC to meet some of the beneficiaries of our projects in 2010. The participants from this trip continue to gather monthly and have become an enthusiastic team of volunteers that makes our HANDS craft sales such a success! We hope to organize another mission trip to Egypt in the near future.

Beyond these programs, however, HANDS supports projects all over Egypt that directly respond to the needs of the people and the goals of the revolution. For example, in response to the Egyptian revolutionaries’ call for bread, HANDS—with generous support from FAPC—has implemented an Employment through Technology and Innovation (ETI) program in 10 cites and villages throughout the country.

In Egypt a staggering 65% of young people under age 30 are unable to find work. The ETI program increases the employability of young people by providing computer and technological training. More than 23,000 Egyptian youths have benefited from this training, and more than 2,600 have found employment through HANDS’ job-matching service. In this way, HANDS and FAPC are helping the people of Egypt gain bread for themselves and their families.

Beyond the desire for bread and jobs, the revolution also demanded freedom and dignity. In addition to the ETI program, FAPC is supporting HANDS’ efforts to benefit women and people with disabilities, two populations that are particularly marginalized in Egypt. Some sources estimate that only 23% of Egyptian women will find a job during their lifetime, whether they have an education or not. For people with disabilities, the statistics are even more dire: 90% of people with disabilities in Egypt never find a job at all.

For these two groups, HANDS implements a Professional Fellows Program to promote the development of young leaders working to empower these populations, who will then be able to have a stronger impact on their communities.

Egypt may still face an uncertain future politically. But in partnership with FAPC, we are ensuring that ordinary Egyptians are coming closer to achieving their goals of bread, freedom and dignity.

Jennifer Cate is executive director and Laura Carroll is program manager of Hands Along the Nile Development Services.
On Sunday, April 19, Jennifer will offer a "moment for mission" during both worship services and will be in the Gallery afterward to meet FAPC members and friends.
Tags: mission partner

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