El Ras El Soda Community Development Centre was established in 2005 in a poor area in the outskirts of Alexandria. The village of El Ras El Soda is largely populated by migrant farm families from Upper Egypt.
Many families moved to Alexandria in search of good job opportunities and a better life, only to realise the difficulties of finding a decent and well paying job without any education or experience. Many of these families inhabit the fast-growing suburbs of Alexandria among others struggling with poverty.
El Ras El Soda Development centre started to take shape when the local Anglican Church in 1998 established a nursery school in response to the needs of the community. The nursery slowly grew, and in 2005, new facilities were built with additional space for a new community development centre. Today, the centre is mainly used by the many Christians living in the area, but activities are available to everyone in the community without any ethnic or religious discrimination. The centre offers comprehensive programming in education, economy, health and environment, family support, and capacity building.
The living conditions in El Ras El Soda are very poor. Health education and vocational training are particularly vital to equip beneficiaries to make more beneficial life choices and become economically viable. The centre aims to find stable employment for heads of household by establishing contacts with local industry leaders. The centre’s health and environment programming focuses on preventing the spread of diseases and decreasing infant mortality.
The vision of El Ras El Soda Community Development Centre is to improve the living standards of the families living in the area of El Ras el Soda by offering activities including:
- Awareness lessons in health, environment, human rights, economy, parenthood and society.
- Literacy classes and vocational training
- Educational support for children
- Medical support to families, children and pregnant women
- Home improvements
- Financial management seminars
- Micro-finance programmes