Author Archives HANDS

  • In the Moquattam area of Cairo, more than 50,000 zabbaleen, an Arabic word for garbage collectors, survive on sorting and recycling trash from the city. Unfortunately, a lot of children in this community have to drop out of school in order to help their parents collect and sort garbage. In this community, many girls have limited […]

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  • Widowed women in Egypt’s villages can face immense challenges in supporting themselves and their families. For some of them, the death of their husband is the first time they have tried to enter the job market. With little education and no formal work experience, the situation can feel hopeless. Mervat, a 48-year-old woman from Upper […]

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  • For many modern Egyptian women, limited access to vocational training and job opportunities is an everyday reality. According to the World Bank in 2018, only 23% of Egyptian women will be able to find formal employment in their lifetimes. Therefore, the opportunity to start a small business can be transformational for women looking to gain […]

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  • HANDS is excited to announce the re-launch of our Etsy shop: Gifts From the Nile! The Zabbaleen are a community of garbage collectors, inhabiting some of the poorest corridors of Cairo. Zabbaleen families live entirely on waste, earning a livelihood by collecting and sorting trash.  The shop features products made by Zabbaleen women from the […]

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  • In 2008, Hanaa caught the entrepreneurial bug. She began making leather products in her home and selling them at local markets in Cairo. Despite the difficulties of gaining a foothold in a competitive market, Hanaa knew she had found her life-long passion.  However, she encountered several challenges; her process of purchasing raw materials, then designing and […]

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  • Eman’s life has been far from easy. As a mother of two from Alexandria, both Eman’s husband and son have been diagnosed with chronic health conditions. With piles of bills, their family found themselves in debt.  Since her husband was unable to work because of his illness, Eman desperately needed to find a way  to […]

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  • Marwa Mohssen is a HANDS’ Professional Fellows alum, who is passionate about empowering women. With the experience and knowledge she gained through our program, Marwa has launched a new project to improve the lives of working mothers at her workplace, the headquarters of CARE Egypt. One of her main goals in this project is to find […]

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  • After graduating from a technical institute, Mary worked  in tourist bazaars as an accountant for various artisans. Each day, she watched the craftspeople create and sell their products. She was intrigued by watching the process of transforming copper, silver, and leather into marketable products–and became one of the bazaar’s best customers. Eventually, Mary was inspired to join […]

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  • Samira–like many women living in Egypt’s underserved communities–never attended schooling above the elementary level or had any paid work experience. Devastated by the passing of her husband, Samira found that feeding her children was no easy task. She used small donations given to her by a local community organization, but they barely covered her family’s […]

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  • Looking for the perfect holiday shopping opportunity? Look no further! Please join HANDS for our 2018 holiday handicraft sale at our office on Saturday, December 1 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Our products are made by artisans at the Association for the Protection of the Environment (APE), a job skills training program for women living […]

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