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AIC Egypt’s “Eating Healthily” project: Offering healthy meals in a Cairo school while providing an income to ten disadvantaged women

The aim of the project “Eating Healthily” is to improve the living conditions of ten women in the Beaulac district of Cairo, Egypt, through an income-generating activity. The women prepare healthy dishes full of fruit and vegetables for 1000 pupils and 50 teachers at the “Collège Saint Vincent de Paul” secondary school. These dishes allow pupils and teachers to eat in a healthier way, and the profits generated give the women beneficiaries an income to support their families. The project was set up in partnership with the Ladies of Charity and some employees of the secondary school.

The Daughters of Charity of the Saint Vincent de Paul secondary school provide a spiritual and social service to the women of a parish in Beaulac, one of Cairo’s disadvantaged districts. Some of the women live in extreme poverty due to difficult circumstances: an unemployed husband, a large family, widowhood with young children, etc.

Members of the AIC Cairo group, most of whom are teachers at the school, have set up the micro-project “Eating Healthily” to provide these women with an income. The women clean, peel and cut vegetables to prepare mini pizzas, fruit salads and Greek salads, which they sell to the students and teaching staff of the school. Between 300 and 500 meals are prepared twice a week, equivalent to about 30 to 40kg of vegetables.

The activities of the project are:

  • Teaching the women to prepare certain dishes that can be sold in the school canteen, while respecting hygiene rules
  • Preparing these meals twice a week
  • Producing sanitary packaging
  • Selling the products to students and the teaching staff
  • Sharing profits fairly among the women

The project has a very concrete impact. Women learn the value of work and become independent. They earn an income that helps them provide for their children and family. Students eat healthier meals: fruit, vegetables, cheese, among others, instead of chips, chocolate, etc. And, if need be, teachers can go back home with a ready meal.

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