In the heart of Egypt, between arid mountains and arable land, a few thousand Christians survive in extreme poverty. Forgotten by all, they are nevertheless the descendants of the first Egyptian Christians.
In this entirely Christian village of 8,000 inhabitants bordering the Nile valley, the serenity of these Copts who have remained on the holy places where the Holy Family passed through during its flight to Egypt, reigns. This serenity contrasts brutally with the poverty of its inhabitants, which makes us understand the causes of the massive rural exodus that is causing the slums of Cairo to grow.
These families have nothing. They cram 8 or 9, or even more, between four rickety walls. The roofs, made of palms, barely protect them from the weather. The bitter cold of the winter nights can only be fought by fires lit from the rubbish that litters the street. The dirt floor turns into a quagmire when it rains. Obviously, they have no bathroom, no kitchen… Animals, pigeons, dogs, are like at home.
A few water pipes here and there between the houses, to which the women come to fill cans for domestic needs, while the men are in the fields.
The shocking poverty of this village has led the teams of SOS Chrétiens d’Orient to go there every month to bring food packs to the most destitute families.
At the head of these families, they often find women, widows, sometimes young but always very poor because when their husbands die, they only inherit ⅛ of the goods, the rest going by right to their children regardless of their age.
So an outpouring of generosity runs through the village and sets in, but the neighbours’ incomes are not much higher, and do not allow for another family to be provided for.
In the church of Saint Prince Théodore the Levantin in the heart of the village, and with the help of Father Antoine and Father Théodore, the volunteers of the association bring in basic foodstuffs every month, rice, pasta, lentils, beans, flour, oil, but also chicken, cheese, jam, biscuits and tea.
Help the volunteers to continue their donations of food packs to the poor families of Deir Rifa village. Faced with the worrying risk of malnutrition of these poor and isolated families, your generosity is the only protection.
The people of Deir Rifa love their village, this holy place trodden by the Holy Virgin, St. Joseph and the Child Jesus. We must help them to stay here despite the difficult rural living conditions.