- Middle East/North Africa
Buses will be provided to Social Solidarity Directorates in 10 governorates over the next few days to continue the ongoing work to protect homeless children, according to sources in the Social Solidarity Ministry.
The ministry received 11 mobile units last year from the Arab Organization for Industrialization (AOI) to use in a program launched by the Social Solidarity Ministry, in cooperation with the Tahya Masr Fund to shelter and protect street children.
The teams operating the units (psychologists, social workers and paramedics) will start soon after they complete their mission training.
The ministry has 17 street teams and will be stations where street children are often present. The teams will be trained to try and gain the children's trust and discuss the possibility of returning them to their families or placing them in shelters, the sources added.
The sources said most shelters had badly-maintained infrastructure but were renovated so as to encourage homeless children to leave the streets. The main objective of the program is to reduce the problem of homeless children in the 10 targeted governorates and rehabilitate them for inclusion into society.
The program aims to protect 80% of street children through rehabilitation and the development of 21 shelters in the governorates, after which 60% of street children who have been monitored should be ready to be reintergrated into society, the sources added.
The program costs LE165 million, of which Tahya Masr Fund contributed with LE114 million. The rest was provided by the Social Solidarity Ministry. The Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces improved the infrastructure of the shelters and the Arab Organization for Industrialization manufactured the mobile units.
The Social Solidarity Ministry launched the program in July, estimating that there are 16,019 homeless children living on the streets of Egypt's towns and cities.
The program is to provide basic needs and services to equip street children with the qualifications to succeed in life. The program will, in the first instance, be seen in Cairo, Giza, Qalyubiya, Minya, Sharqya, Alexandria, Assiut, Suez, Beni Suef and Monufiya.