I am here to tell you what happened to me one week ago in Cairo, Egypt
I live and work in Egypt, have been here already for many years and feel this country has a special meaning to me.
Week ago I was in a business trip to Cairo when I had this brief encounter with one of the homeless persons living in streets of Cairo
Well,. If you live here in Egypt and stay outside tourist destinations you definitely will see a lot of poor people Sometimes you give them few coins, sometimes not , you pass them by and after that you don't remember them at all . But this time it was different..
On my departure day from Cairo back to my home in Alexandria I was walking in a street to get a taxi, when I saw somebody sleeping under worn out blanket next to a brick wall, a wheelchair beside the bed.
I had seen him already there the day when I arrived to Cairo.
Now I saw him there again, in a same place and it looked like that he was in same position when I saw him first time.
It made me think that maybe he is deceased.
Its hard to describe what thoughts and feelings comes to your when you think that somebody has passed away.
I was shocked to the bottom of my heart. I continued walking a little while until I stopped beside the park and my heart was filled with such sorrow and anxiety.
I am sure many people saw me there and wandered what was wrong: I was just staring to park area without seeing anything, tears running from my eyes..
I realized how small and selfish my life was, just running around and thinking only about myself and my business, without true caring about my fellowmen besides my family and friends.
I gathered myself again somehow and went to get that taxi. I was thinking feverishly what I could do?
Can I go to him and offer some money?. But what about if he is dead?. If that was the case then I prayed that he would have all the good fortune and happiness in heaven what he lacked in this life
I knew that if I don't even try to help him I would regret later.
So when I drove pass him in my taxi I asked the driver stop . And I just went there.
I had to go and see if he was OK
I called at him: ´mister, mister! `and I was relieved to see movement under the blanket.
To my surprise I saw a woman appearing under the blanket! Woman at her 30ś or 40`s.
I hand over money to her, she took it and without words coming from her mouth she tried to thank me.
I left quickly and continued my way.
But I couldn't stop thinking about her.
The next day it became very heavy storm here in Egypt that lasted many days. It was exceptionally hard wind, a lot of raining and temperature was low. Hard weather is hitting also Middle East this winter..
When I was sleeping in my home in a warm bed I just couldn't stop thinking about how that woman in Cairo can stay out in this horrible weather?? My heart in pain I was staring at the ceiling, eyes open in a dark room. Many nights in a row I did not sleep properly. When I prepared some good food, I was thinking when my sister in Cairo had eaten something. I was thinking if anybody gave her any money, and how she could cope there without food or shelter in the street when it was cold and rainy, having only one blanket to cover her.
And in Cairo there are hundreds and hundreds people like her living in the streets. Many of them are children without place to go.
It is unfortunate fact that the government of this country doesn't help poor people almost not at all. Prize of bread,rice and all general foodstuff has risen dramatically during one year.
There is no any general pension system here. If they dont have any relatives or children they are absolutely left on their own.
So I started to think about charity work!
Its totally new area to me, but when you are passionate about your cause then it is rather easy to make action. And here I think, also destiny helped me.. I had remarkable coincidence on my way back home.
In a train I met a friendly Catholic nun and started to talk with her; I thought maybe she can give me some information to start with.
What is interesting here is that I was supposed to be in another train!.. You see, there was two trains departing from Cairo to Alexandria at 2 pm and at 2.15 pm. In mistake I took the wrong train , that is how I met Sister Helena.
I realized that now I am on a right track, life itself is helping me to meet people who can give me good information how to start charity work!
It was first time for me to see a Catholic nun in Egypt!
In Egypt about 10% of 80 million people are Coptic Orthodox Christians, less than 1% are Roman Catholics.
I wanted to know from Sister Helena if their congregation is doing any charity work. And yes, she told that they are helping many poor people and if I wanted to know more I was welcome to their German School to talk more about this subject.
So the next day I went there and met the headmaster of the school, also I met the eldest of sisters, Sister Claudia. They both were very helpful and told me a lot about their charity work.
Sister Claudia is mainly responsible for the charity work. She told me that she has done that for over 20 years, continuing work of her predecessor.
Next step brought me here, to tell you all about this cause here in Egypt!
These Catholic Sisters need continuously funding to keep up their charity work. Already they gather funds inside the school, for example they sell sandwiches and drinks in a buffet during breaks.
Many parents give help in different ways, for example they donate money clothes and shoes.
In Sunday church, they collect money to help poor people..
At the moment they can help about 110 families and widows in city of Alexandria.
Both religious groups, Muslims and Christians receive help from them.
Every other week, in Friday people come to German school to get their aid packages including food and some money. Two times per year they get clothes
But it is a large city and many poor people are in desperate need. Especially those who live in the streets.
We need now expand this charity work!
Winter just arrived and it will last many months.
First thing that homeless in a street need is a good blanket. It is essential so that he or she can stay warm. Blanket cost about 150 egyptian pounds,that is 25 dollars
Sisters of German school dont have enough time to go around in the streets of Cairo or Alexandria to look for those who need help, so we need to hire one or more social worker to do it.
Salary for a social worker is 300 Egyptian pounds per month, that is 50 dollars.
My target is to collect money as much as possible to help homeless and poor people in Cairo and in Alexandria.
There is German School also in Cairo and I am planning to visit them during my next trip, so I can find out their charity work and how you and me can help them..
So please donate, we can make a difference in many peoples lives!
Even small amount can help. All donations are very welcome!.
Donations are directed 100% to charity work!
This donation is not tax deductible