(Editor’s Note: The Humanity Project has partnered with a respected nonprofit group in Egypt: the Egyptian Association for Educational Resources, or E-ERA. They are non-governmental and non-religious, working with such organizations as the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and Johns Hopkins University. Our partnership involves a blog-and-photo exchange to promote better understanding of the humanity we all share. This is E-ERA’s fourth blog about their work to help young people, an article written especially for the Humanity Project by Aliaa Elaghoury of E-ERA. We feel it is especially appropriate on this International Women’s Day.)
The Egyptian Association for Educational Resources (E-ERA) envisions that empowerment of youth has to consider economic empowerment through education and training. Therefore, in collaboration with MEPI (Middle East Partnership Initiative), E-ERA has launched “Bent Baladi.” In Arabic, Bent Baladi means “the girl of my country,” which promotes her strength and ability to contribute to her country’s well-being. The program aims to increase technical and vocational skills, as well as soft skills of 400 graduate girls from secondary technical schools to increase employability among young women in Upper Egypt, which is the region most needing development. The program supports them with specialized training skills and an environment that is conducive to business development inspiring innovation and creating a foundation for long-term economic growth.
The project has three pillars, which are public awareness, training for employability, and empowerment for future economic opportunities in four different governates (Beni-Suef, Fayoum, Assiut, and Sohag). The public awareness seminars focused on the girls’ well-being and rights. Seminars were by experts in the areas of nutritious food, HIV/Aids, smoking and drugs and basic rights (sexual harassment, violation of inheritance laws, and combating violence against women).