American University of Cairo
Following a long-standing tradition by AUC students, community service clubs are actively involved in their annual charity efforts to help the needy during the holy month of Ramadan. After spending the summer months collecting donations, student groups at AUC continue their efforts in underprivileged areas in Cairo, where they are distributing thousands of food packages and ready-to-eat meals.
Volunteers in Action (VIA), the university’s largest community service club, has distributed 3,455 food packages to different orphanages in Cairo, Sharqiya, Bani Souif, and Menya and communities in the most underserved communities in Cairo such as Basateen and Masr Al Qadima. As many as 70 iftar-to-go meals are delivered to a different orphanage every day during Ramadan.
“On August 26, we are hosting an iftar event at the Tahrir Square campus for more than 500 orphan children,” said Ahmed Korra, VIA president. “And this year ,VIA members will have iftar with the people of Meet Okba - the area we’ve been developing for several years - as well as with the people of Basateen and an orphanage,” he said.
The club is also collecting donations for Eid clothes to be distributed to orphans before Eid. “We collect the old clothes and try to fix and clean them as much as we can so they look new,” added Korra.
The Help Club distributed 1,000 food packages to the underprivileged residents in Masr Al Qadima district and also organized a project, Rahman Delivery, which organizes the preparation and distribution of around 250 ready-to-eat meals per day throughout the holy month of Ramadan. “We are planning to take the kids to shops toward the end of Ramadan to buy them their Eid clothes. This is part of the club’s Children Program that runs all year long in Masr Al Qadima, and focuses on educating more than 70 youngsters there,” said Mohamed Sweillam, president of the Help Club.
For the eighth year in a row, Alashanak ya Balady (AYB) is distributing approximately 250 food packages in Ain Al Seera district. “We distribute the food packages to the people we work with in Ain Al Seera, which is the area of our development programs. This comes as a reward and motivation for their participation with us,” said AYB President Ibrahim Gamal. AYB is also preparing for the keswa project that involves collecting and distributing clothes to the needy. “We receive clothes donations and sell them to the disadvantaged at very low prices; the t-shirt for example costs LE3. We prefer to sell the clothes rather than to simply give them away to extend to them a sense of ownership of their Eid clothes,” explains Gamal.
In addition to club activities, AUC’s Student Union has partnered with AYB and VIA this Ramadan. “This is the first time the Student Union works with AYB and VIA on organizing Maedat Al Rahman, where we serve meals to 100 people every day next to the AUC’s Greek campus in Tahrir Square,” said Mohamed Alaa, Student Union’s development chair.
“Students at AUC have always proven their dedication and commitment towards their community,” said Ramza Sedky, associate director of AUC’s community service program. “Every year, they make sure they sustain their standards in helping the needy who wait for them from year to year.”
There are 14 student-run community service organizations at AUC connecting students with NGOs and other service-based agencies to provide a far-reaching and long-term range of services and activities that target the needy.