The Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services, through its programs in the local development unit (Children in Danger), organized the “I am an Egyptian Child” event, on the occasion of childhood festivals. The event included a play in which the children participated, where they demanded a birth certificate, to be an identity proof for our street children in our local communities. Since the organization adopts the implementation of programs for the protection of children at risk, and the contribution to securing a better life for working children and their families; and creating a protective environment for them, ensuring the preservation of the dignity and humanity of these children and reducing the impact of poverty on them, as well as their exposure to exploitation and physical and psychological abuse, while qualifying them to be good citizens in society. Hence the children’s demands to prove that “I am Egyptian” through the use of art in development, and to express their issues in partnership with civil society institutions in Egypt in the governorates of Giza, Cairo and Qalyubia.
Margaret Sarofim, head of the local development sector at the Coptic Evangelical Organization, said: “The Evangelical Organization seeks, through its activities, to contribute to improving living conditions and to protecting marginalized groups of children at risk, women, and people with disability. That is why the celebration was called “I am an Egyptian Child” to point to this age group and its importance and the necessity of protecting and caring for it, to ensure the correct upbringing of a secure and stable society, by working in partnership with all ministries and bodies of the Egyptian society, and being present on various sites to serve society in all its categories, especially the poor and marginalized areas, without discrimination between the beneficiaries, who amount to a sum of 2 million citizens annually in 12 governances.
Saroufim added: “Today’s celebration is the result of the efforts of the Children at Rik program, where the organization is working on policies to protect children, and take care of them, whether on the street or in the work environment, especially the dangerous environment, while working to provide protection, dignity and humanity, and protecting them from media exploitation or trafficking; after 3 years of efforts, working on the “Children at Risk” project in the governorates of Cairo and Beni Suef, in partnership with 6 civil society associations and organizations.”
250 participants from NGOs, public figures, those interested in children’s affairs, members of Parliament, representatives of the government sector and the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood participated in the meeting, including members of Parliament: Dr. Amal Zakaria, Dr. Rasha Kulaib, Dr. Hoda Ammar, and a number of officials from ministries and organizations concerned with childhood and motherhood: Counselor Medhat Al-Ghamrawi – undersecretary of the Ministry of Manpower in Cairo; Ms. Iman, undersecretary of the Ministry of Manpower in Qalyubia; Dr. Hosni Youssef, director of the Homeless Children Program at the Ministry of Solidarity; Dr. Hani Helal, the Egyptian Coalition for Rights. and others. This was on Tuesday, November 16, 2021.
It is noteworthy that the number of children in the community is 32 million children from birth to the age of 18. Last year only, the Evangelical Organization worked with 9,400 children and their families, to contribute to providing a safe environment legally and professionally, and as a result, a rights document was signed (an hour of rest) by 150 children in Shubra El-Kheima.