Is there any hope for change in Cairo’s Slums?

NPR featured a story today on slums in Cairo and the attempts at redeveloping communities.  Listen to the whole story here: In Cairo, Little Hope for Change.

The municipal government has already forcibly moved many families after telling them that public housings is available.  However many have found after their neighborhoods are torn down that there are not enough public flats, leaving these families to live in tents outside of the public housing complexes.  Here is an excerpt from the report:

“Is your story going to make a difference?” I heard that question quite a lot while interviewing Egyptian families in the Cairo slum district called Duweiqa. The people of the slum have grown cynical over the years and no longer get their hopes up when government officials and journalists come around to ask about life here.

Unfortunately this story of insufficient supplies of public housing and forced relocation is not unique to Cairo.  However there is hope for some slums in Cairo, such as Mokattam, the largest of Cairo’s garbage villages, where the Recycling School is operating.  The Recyling school teaches boys in the community:

…how to sort and safely recycle plastic shampoo bottles. They receive a small income every month from sending these back to the shampoo factories. Through the process, children are taught the principles of recycling and the importance of safety precautions such as suitable clothing, gloves, masks, etc.

Garbage Dreams is excellent documentary that tells the in depth story of this community in Cario and the Recycling School.

Melissa

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