Cairo - Egypt



  Composting Plant
  Rug weaving / Patchwork
  Children Club
  Mother & Child
  Literacy Classes
  Paper Recycling
  Garbage Separation
  Tora Unit
  Tora 1
  Tora 2
  Tora 3
  The Quattamea Integrated Center for Recycling
  Quattamea 1
  Quattamea 2
  Quattamea 3
  Quattamea 4
  Transfer of Experience
  Personal Stories

  The Cave Cathedral !
   A Modern Wonder in the Heart of the Garbage City
  International Awards:
  more photos

Rug Weaving / Patchwork Centre

The project was launched in 1988 with support of the composting project, which was then on its feet and viable. This project targeted drop out girls who had had to go out on the garbage route as children and who had thus been deprived of the chance to go to school. These mothers were recruited into what we call our 'learning and earning' school - a model of how to learn all the elements of school learning but in a recycling project revolving around the transformation of clean rags into marketable products. These rags are donated by the private textile sector of Egypt. The project incorporates literacy, personal and environmental hygiene and empowerment to deal with culture-specific matters such as female circumcision, early marriage, and others.

This projects runs with the vision that a women in a development project further involves the residents of Mokattam Garbage village. It receives annually , on average, 100 girls and young women. A 306 month training period introduces trainees to the art and skill of weaving rag rugs on a hand loom and sewing patch work items. Building in the existing skill of sorting garbage, this project creates an alternative educational model in non-formal education for girls and women who never had the chance to go tot school. It views the waste and sorting context of recycling as a potential for an income generating numeracy, while incorporating elements of personal and environmental hygiene. Business skills are developed and computer literacy is added.

Skill acquisition covers areas of color identification, classification, space relationships, numeracy, literacy, home economics, personal and environmental hygiene, and a host of other learning built on existing skills within the community's recycling ethos. The approach adopted in holistic and includes recreation and celebration, through field trips and monthly celebrations. These feature health and sociodramas, primary health care training in nutrition, mother and child health, family planning, traditional negative practices, prevention measures against accidents, etc. as well as discussion revolving around major production and project management concerns.

Literacy classes are offered on the premises of APE and are scheduled to suit the staggered training schedule of trainees. Based on Freirean methods of literacy instruction, the curriculum is designed around slightly different principles of conscientization based upon sources of hope rather than root causes of oppression.

Graduation parties inaugurate the productive families' phase of the project where trainees go on to producing from their homes. They continue to secure their rags and work orders from A.P.E, which markets the products both locally and internationally. A 1994 census of participants in this project indicated the a total of 300 girls and women had graduated from the center of whom a full 200 continue to be cottage industry workers. Of these 64% practice family planning and 56% are opposed to female circumcision.


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