Egypt, Middle East

EGY01 - Al Hayat Training Centre: Partnership Reports

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Report Date: May 5, 2018

Report from BHW Egypt Partnership Facilitator


I visited the centre on April 9th. Four people from Shared Hope, UK, came for the first two hours and we looked at the various aspects of the programme. After they left, we had another two hours of discussion about the issues they are facing and the best way forward. They are very encouraged by the partnership with BHW, the impact the training is having and the reputation they have developed.  

Recent Events


proud of qualificationThe new year began well and 76 people have completed training since January. New courses have just begun and from predictions, around 350 should be trained this year. Three courses have just begun with groups of Sudanese refugees. Their pastor came to request the training and the day we were visiting the first courses were just beginning in English and computers. 

The most popular courses are still hairdressing, makeup, English and computers. There are other courses as well. 

For some reason the Egyptian Government has lengthened the vacation period over summer so now it extends from April to July, almost four months. They are therefore planning to increase the number of courses offered during the vacation period. This will be hosted at both the training centre and the school and be for teachers and students.  


Personal Stories

wedding makeupWhile there it was not possible to obtain personal stories. However, people are coming from all over Cairo for the training. Some are even travelling 4–5 hours per day for their lessons. 

It is estimated that around 60% of those who complete courses obtain employment within a short time after completion. This percentage is increasing as their training is being more widely recognized. Quite a number have set up their own small businesses, especially those trained in doing wedding makeup. 

I met one family who came to the vocational training centre for help; a mother came with three of her daughters. One daughter is married and the other two are about to get married. They are very poor and they cannot afford to meet the expectations of marriage. The mother also has three sons and her husband is very strange and dangerous. He doesn’t work and takes no responsibility for the family, even though he is a “Christian.” He beats and abuses his wife. 

When a girl gets married they have to bring an oven, fridge and washing machine into the marriage, without this the marriage will not go ahead. One of the girls about to get married has been engaged for more than a year and the fiancée’s family are putting pressure on them. 


Partnership's Influence within the Community

changing livesThe impact and reputation of the training centre is increasing every week as the word spreads about how good it is. It is the best vocational training programme in Cairo according to the government. Every day they receive requests from groups to train their people. This is from individuals, government agencies, the Muslim University, NGOs and churches, so it is a broad base. 

The reaction from people who attend is that the facilities are amazing and that the staff are very encouraging. The training becomes like family for many of them and for the first time in their lives they achieve something. 


Ideas for the Future

I have every confidence in this partnership and the training that is offered. I would love to see it grow more and I think the best way to do this is to split the project into two. 

changing livesAt the moment about 25% of the funds go into assisting families who require some sort of intervention because of poverty. Some of these people are discovered during the course of the training. For others it comes from other programmes that N and S are involved with. 

Every month S goes to an area in G to visit a church. It’s the area that their key manager lives in. A local pastor in that community has many poor church members. All the staff go with S and meet with the local people in the church building. They have prayer, worship, a message from the Bible and then go out to home visits. They are shocked by what they find. Some of the people from here have been sponsored to come to the vocational training. 

Once a month N and S go to another area and meet with a group of mainly men. N has a friend who facilitates this. The families come to the meeting place and N speaks to them. They are all Muslims and they have to be a little careful about what they say. However, they are generally very open to the Good News. Many are Syrian and Sudanese refugees. Usually the whole family will come and after the meeting they interview each family. During this time of personal discussion they discover many needs. 

They want to set up a social welfare fund to support families who require help. Some would be relief and short term support and some would be to assist them to set up or expand small businesses. 


Current Issues and Challenges

making a differenceRecent escalation of prices for everything is placing huge pressures on families and small businesses. 


Prayer and Praise Points

1) That there is such a good vibe in the place and people love coming. There is good acceptance from all who come, irrespective of their faith background. 

2) That people are getting jobs after training. Many say that this is the best thing that has happened to them. 

3) For safety as there are still groups of people who don’t like to see work like this growing.

4) Wisdom dealing with the increasing poverty they are discovering and the difficult challenges many of the people face. 



There are still no other donors in the programme and they are very thankful for the BHW support. Of course they could do with more finance as they would like to run more courses in the evenings. There is a lot of room for expansion and their reputation continues to grow in the community.