It All Begins with Education in Egypt and South Africa
13 October 2021
On Monday, October 11th, 2021, Mrs. Habiba Abdel Razek, the spouse of the Ambassador of Egypt to South Africa, Ambassador Ahmed El Fadly hosted Diplomatic Spouses and members of the African Show Coalition Institute (TASCI) in a charity event and a themed photo exhibition entitled “Cultural Diversity of South Africa”.
The event was arranged to support the renovation of 'Baleni Secondary School' in Pumzipika in the Eastern Cape. The student body there is promising despite seriously overpopulated classrooms, amidst a lack of basic services in a small and rather underprivileged community, such as water and electricity.
In her introductory remarks, Mrs. Abdel Razek referred to the importance of sponsoring sustainable development projects in realizing the full spectrum of development in communities. Simultaneously, eradicating illiteracy and poverty is imperative in ensuring the stability and safety of communities and countries from violence, crime and terrorism.
From her side, Mrs Bathandwa Kwababa, President of TASCI, stressed on the importance of the role played by the diplomatic community, NGOs and NPOs in the development of rural communities, and in supporting their battles against violence and crimes. As such, TASCI has a vision for developing learners, teachers and members of societies in townships, pre-urban and rural communities. Its mission is to support the creation of social cohesive bonds in society, and to enable learners, teachers and community members to rebuild their vibrant societies using cultural competency methods.
The event was attended by the Spouses of the Ambassadors of Austria, Côte d'Ivoire Georgia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Pakistan, South Korea, Sudan, Switzerland and UAE, and as well as media representatives.
Mrs. Habiba Abdel Razek considered the goals of TASCI to be similar to those of the “Decent Life Initiative” which is endorsed by the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi. “In Egypt, we have the same initiative but on a much larger scale. Decent Life (Hayah Karima) is an initiative for the sustainable development of rural communities. It was endorsed by the President of Egypt in 2019,” said Mrs. Abdel Razek. “The main objective of the initiative is to improve the quality of life in the poorest rural communities within the framework of the “Sustainable Development Strategy: Egypt Vision 2030”.
The “Decent Life” Initiative has four main goals: improving living-standards by establishing micro-projects and supporting families most in need; investing in human capital by providing proper medical and educational services; developing infrastructure services by building decent housing; and ensuring the provision of vital services such as water and sanitation, and eventually reaching the ultimate goal which is raising the quality of human development services and economic development,” Ms. Abdel Razek added.
“Overall, the initiative targets rural communities. This entails covering 58% of the Egyptian population living in 4658 villages across the country. The estimated budget of the initiative is EGP 700 billion ($ 45 billion) and the stakeholders include State Agencies, 13 Ministries, NGOs, and the Private Sector” Mrs. Habiba Abdel Razek said.
She also added “The initiative is divided in three phases. We have completed the first phase, covering the worst 142 villages in terms of living conditions. Currently, we are implementing the second phase of this project. The implementation program for this initiative is planned to last for three years, by which we are expecting to witness a considerable improvement in the standard of living index in rural areas and therefore our overall index. This is why this initiative, is considered an unprecedented achievement in Egypt, one that has been hailed by the UNDP sustainable development platform for promising projects in 2021.”
by Ayman Walash, Counselor - Head of the Press & Information Office, Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Pretoria, South Africa
Photo by Anisha Pemjee