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Good news for Egyptian breadwinners.

Some Egyptian women have to support their families, for example if their husband dies or gets taken seriously sick.

Al-Orman Association, an NGO, has launched a project to help female breadwinners make a living for themselves and their families.

'Hope Project', of Al-Orman Association, provides these women with a kiosk and commodities to sell. This year, the Association has decided to increase the number of beneficiaries of the project by expanding it to more governorates.

Suzanne Moheb, the executive manager of the project, says that the idea isn't to help poor people with money, because, as experience shows, they quickly spend it then ask for more and more.

"We want poor people to be able to make a living, rather than having to rely solely on financial assistance," she explains, adding that beneficiaries are also given a short training course in how to manage a kiosk.

The Association provides the kiosk owners with commodities, which they pay for in instalments from the profit they make in selling them.

Suzanne told the semi-official newspaper Al-Akhbar that they carefully assess every female breadwinner, who applies for help.

If a woman is found to be deserving, she is provided with a kiosk, whose location has to be approved by the Local Council. So far, 3,000 women have benefited. Each one has been given a kiosk and commodities worth LE3,000.

The Association also pays for a refrigerator and the necessary electrical connections. The Hope Project allows female breadwinners to make a monthly income of at least LE1,000 (about $175).

This year, Al-Orman Association plans to provide 200 kiosks for poor families in Beni Sueif Governorate, about 60 miles south of Cairo, with 25 per cent of them for female breadwinners.

Haniya el-Sayyed, one of the beneficiaries of the project, lives in 6th October Governorate. Her neighbours had suggested that she apply to the Association for help.

"My husband is very sick and we have three children still in education, so I went to the Association to help me, as I didn't want to end up living on charity," Haniya notes.

Youssria Badawi from Giza Governorate got a kiosk from the Association, after her husband died two years ago.

"The procedures were complicated, but now I own a kiosk and I'm earning enough to bring up my children," she says proudly.

The Egyptian Gazette 2009 All rights reserved.

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Publication:The Egyptian Gazette (Cairo, Egypt)
Date:Jan 7, 2011
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