Egypt, Middle East

EGY01 - Al Hayat Training Centre: Partnership Reports

Other Reports Available:

Print friendly version

Back to Partnership

Report Date: November 20, 2017

Report from BHW Egypt Partnership Facilitator Following Visit


Recent Events

S went back to work as a pharmacist for a period but has realised that it is very hard to do this. At the time she felt she could handle it but the ministry has increased and she is now leaving pharmacy for good to devote herself to the ministry. 

S is involved with 25 Syrian refugee families. Life is tough for them and for those who attempt to help them. Recently a young man whose mother is a widow was falsely accused of blasphemy. They cannot afford a lawyer so he is in prison and there is no income for the family. They are trying to help. There are often medical issues and many needs around young people getting married. She has her hands full.  

The government has now recognised their training courses so those who complete and graduate are given a certificate that has some real strength. Most who graduate are given a small gift to assist them to special daystart a career. 

I visited in October and there were a number of courses underway at the time. I was also able to attend the graduation of a course. It was great to hear the stories of many of those who were graduating and also see a number of other courses in progress. 

For most of the courses the students pay around 400 EGP (approx US$20). In other institutes they could pay up to 10 times that amount. 


Personal Stories

keen to comeAt the course for hairdressing there is a wide range of people. One woman travels 150 kms each way four days a week to attend. She is a Moslem woman and just loves the atmosphere and friendliness of the people. She does nine hours travel per day to attend the three hour course and leaves home at 5:30 a.m. to make it happen. 

One woman who is a widow with a son did a beauty course and now has a high paying job in a 5 star hotel. The makeup course gives people opportunities to earn an income. Three from the courses have already got good jobs, mainly they do makeup for brides on their wedding day and are able to charge a lot of money. The course is very practical and hands on so they can start work immediately. Most other courses are just theory and have little use at all. 

While visiting I met a class of eight women studying computers. They were from a Presbyterian orphan care programme and were sponsored by their churches to attend. They will then work with the children they care for to help them with their school work. They were loving the course and were full of smiles and happiness to be able to do the study and learn. 


Partnership's Influence within the Community

changing livesThe influence of these courses within the community is beginning to gain momentum. They are now frequently contacted by agencies and organisations to train their people. They are not yet able to do all the courses they want to.

The most popular courses are beauty and makeup, hairdressing and computers. 

The people say that the place is secure and they feel safe. This is a big issue, especially for all the women. They love the clean place with air con and the ease of getting to it near to a railway station. 

A Moslem University asked for some of their people to come between semesters for an intensive training in computing, keep in mind that the courses are 50 hours of study, and so 15 women came earlier in the year. 

An Anglican church in the USA has just contacted them to train 30 Syrian refugee women.

All the teachers are mature Christians who get many opportunities to witness to and encourage those who come. It is a very effective way to do that as they work beside them. 

The trainees come from all over Cairo and even outside. Two women want to come from Asyut, seven hours to the south to do an intensive course. They are trying to find accommodation for them so they can do it. They are very flexible to help people. 

Their influence in the Christian community is developing as well. Over summer they trained 30 musicians from various churches in keyboard and guitar and were able to help some with instruments. 

Many of those who attend are friends of people who have attended a course. 


Plans for the Future

popular courseCurrently they have courses operating mainly through the daytime, weekends and vacations however the growth means they will need to take on another manager and start doing evening classes up until 10.00 pm. 


Current Issues and Challenges

There are many issues for the team to deal with in the context of living as a minority in this country and trying to help the poor. They are victims of abuse, persecution and injustice and to get involved has many risks. 

They really want to increase the number of courses to reach more people. There is plenty of opportunity. 


Prayer and Praise Points

1) S has a lovely relationship with the women students. She is like a mother with her flock of chickens around her. They really love her and she is a wonderful influence in their lives. 

2) For safety for the key people. Just nearby a few weeks ago a Coptic priest was stabbed in the street by a fundamentalist. It is not a safe place for Christians or women. 

3) The growing influence they are having in the community and the opportunities it is creating for them to help people and help them become self-sustaining. 

4) The good rapport they have built with the education people who really like what they are doing. 



This is a flagship partnership for BHW I reckon and meets all the criteria for partnership. They are training a lot of vulnerable people in a very vulnerable place.