With a population in excess of 10 million, Cairo is Egypt's biggest city. The greater metropolitan zone is the largest urbanised area in Africa and the Middle East, and is home to over 20 million people.
Like many urban centres in Egypt, Cairo is attractive to poor people from the surrounding countryside. However, many struggle to secure employment and end up living in poverty when they arrive.
Poverty for migrant families places children at risk
As people arrive from the rural areas around the capital, many find themselves disappointed in their search for work. Living space is also hard to come by, particularly for those with little money. Consequently, families such as these often end up in inadequate housing, and children are forced to grow up in squalid conditions.
Sometimes, families find themselves at the very edge, and feel unable to care for their children anymore. We provide support when this happens, supporting families so they can overcome hardship and helping them improve the standard of care they are able to offer their children.
What are we doing to help?
Our role is to ensure children grow up in a loving, supportive environment. We work with families to help them provide this, and provide care when the cannot.
Support for fragile families
Much of our work takes place in the community. Our team work with mothers and fathers, grandparents and other relatives, aiming to equip families to provide children with the loving, nurturing start in life they need. We provide support and training so families can achieve self-sufficiency.
A loving home for children with no one else
Some children are unable to live with their families. These children are welcomed to an SOS family by their SOS mother, and grow up in our Children's Village, where we provide a safe, stable environment in which they receive all the support they need to flourish.
Our SOS nursery provides early learning to children from the Village as well as throughout the community, while the SOS school offers primary and secondary education to 3,000 students from around Cairo. At our SOS youth home, youth counsellors work with young adults to help them prepare for independent living. A range of workshops, on subjects from social skills to conflict management, are complemented by higher education or vocational training.
Cairo is Africa's biggest metropolis and offers opportunities for success for many. But for the most vulnerable children, growing up can be tough. We are there to ensure children get the best start in life.