Egypt, Middle East

EGY05 - Barnabas Ministry Poverty Reduction Programme: Partnership Reports

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Report Date: April 4, 2024

Report from BHW Egypt Partnership Facilitator Following Visit in March

having a breakOver a period of two weeks, we spent many hours with N and S and we visited all of the ministries we are partnering with them in (EGY01, EGY05, 05a, 05b and 05c). EGY01 is registered with the Ministry of Social Work so there can be no spiritual work in that programme. All the others have been registered under the Evangelical Association as Barnabas Ministries. 

We spent a day with S and her team visiting one of the several locations she has programmes operating. We also spent time talking with them about this work. Her team came with us to visit a church and there they had gathered 80 women, mainly widows and solo mothers who are known by the church leaders in that area. They were in a local church there and when we arrived after an hour bus trip across Cairo they were singing. After about 30 minutes of that S spoke to them for about 10 minutes to encourage them. Several women came for prayer which is normal, and Helen participated in that part of the programme. 

We then went out of the church and the women stayed around in the courtyard for a rest. We observed all the food parcels that were ready for distribution and then we left. The women were going to re-enter the church after 30 minutes for another short programme and the bags would be distributed. They did not want us around at the time of the distribution as it had the potential to cause some issues. 


Recent Events


much neededS oversees this project along with three others who handle logistics and children, finances, and communications and translation.

The project has several components:
- There are about three locations around Cairo they visit either monthly or slightly less frequently. They have churches in the locations who know the local poor women in their Christian communities. When the date is set, the local churches organize the location and facility and call the women together. They have a programme and food distribution each time. These women are very poor and are in need of support with their daily needs, food, some cash and most of all, encouragement. In general, local churches do not have much extra available to help those in need and require someone to come alongside them. The Christian community is desperately poor here in Egypt. 

- They sometimes organize a fun day out for them. They might take them to a retreat centre, or a playground/garden or to the river. They talk to them, encourage them and pray with them to give them a break from the drudgery of their lives. They began the ministry in the city with about 100 women but have been able to add another 80 to the group. 

- Under this ministry they have established some literacy classes in some of the loan villages (EGY05c). The rates of literacy among women and children are very low. Some children by grade 5 or 6 in government schools can still not spell their names or read! They have noticed that they are learning very quickly and some of the illiterate women are beginning to read. 

- Alongside this they are attempting to change the attitude of the culture towards women and educating them is part of the plan. Next summer they are intending to train 400 young girls and young women in the rural villages. They will do this with classes and camps in the area.


From all the EGY05 budgets they get a little money and each year distribute around 2,500 school bags to poor children starting the school year. These children are involved somehow in the various projects as children of the women, refugees, addicts and loan beneficiaries. 


Partnership's Influence within the Community

encouraging the ladiesThis is so hard to measure. The church leaders they are working with are very cooperative and say great things about the programme. The women themselves are so happy with the support and you can see their gratitude when they are around S and her team. However, they are people with little or no influence in the culture. 


Ideas for the Future

The plan for summer events for the young girls and young women in the rural areas is the main new initiative they are working on. They are excited about the potential for this programme. 


Current Issues and Challenges

The needs are just so vast. Christians are generally poor and most of the Christian women in Cairo have come with their husbands to find opportunity. The men struggle to find work and so there is a lot of frustration in the families and alcohol and abuse. The women bear the brunt of this and have to bring up the children by themselves. 


Prayer and Praise Points

1) That so many people are being impacted by this ministry. 180 women being assisted probably represents close to 1,000 people benefitting from the work in the city.
2) Many more are being impacted in the rural areas where they operate this ministry alongside the loans.
3) Pray for the 400 young women and girls who will be part of the summer events being planned.
4) The team is outstanding. They are able to recognize other opportunities from meeting with the women. This is much more than just a physical exercise.
5) The churches are positive about this, and they see a much closer relationship developing with the women and the church. 



meeting placeA lot of people are being impacted by this programme. It is an essential component of the work of S as she ministers to women. I think our support for it should continue. 

An exciting development since our last visit is that M, N and S’s eldest son has joined the ministry and is working full time with them. His role at present is to handle all the computer work and communications across all they are doing. He is a smart guy and very likeable. He recently married a lady who is an IT professional. Also, their son-in-law, married to their daughter, is volunteering one day a week in the ministry, usually a Thursday. He too is a lovely young man with a wonderful heritage of faith. We spent a day with them visiting the addicts centre and they sang and interpreted for us but are very capable of doing all we could do plus.