Over 2 million people live in Ezbet el Nakhl, and the population continues to grow. Originally an agricultural area, Ezbet el Nakhl began to experience rapid change in the late 1980s as Christians from Upper Egypt moved into the area to escape persecution.
Because Ezbet el Nakhl is situated between two governates, Cairo and Kaliubya, it has not received coherent oversight or infrastructure during its rapid urbanization. The area lacks essential human services such as police stations, hospitals, social centres, and proper schools. Ezbet el Nakhl lacks sanitary drainage in most places, has frequent power outages, and a shortage of clean water. Roads are unpaved, most being unlit and narrow, and most apartments do not receive proper sunlight or fresh air. The population is burdened by overcrowding, family problems, health problems, and lack of access to employment and educational opportunities
EpiscoCare started to work in the area in 2007, but did not have a physical space until 2011.The newly established centre provides healthcare, education, community organisation and economic programming. As it has grown, the Ezbet el Nakhl Centre has worked to meet the needs of people and expand its programming as opportunities arise.
The vision of Ezbet el Nakhl Community Development Centre is to improve the living standards of the families living in the Ezbet el Nakhl area by offering activities including:
- Awareness lessons in health, environment, human rights, economy, parenthood and society
- Literacy classes and vocational training
- Educational support
- Medical support to families, children and pregnant women
- Home improvements
- Financial management seminars
- Micro-finance programmes