Poverty reigns in the Ezbet-El-Nakhl neighbourhood, one of the six slums in Cairo. 700.000 inhabitants live there, including 80% of Christians. The population does not have minimal infrastructures to live. Government schools, for example, are not numerous and facing the growing number of children in the neighbourhood. The Convent of the Daughters of Mary is trying to remedy this lack with the help of SOS Chrétiens d’Orient.

Sister Mary, superior of the Convent of the Daughters of Mary

Education changes a life, a society. There is no government school here, we welcome many children, but it is impossible to accept them all.

The vision of the founder of the Congregation of the Daughters of Mary was to ensure a Christian Apostolic presence in the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods. As a result, the sisters have supported the ragpickers’ children and the ragpickers themselves. The Salam Centre, located in the ragpickers area of Ezbet-El-Nakhl, is managed by the sisters of the orthodox Congregation of the Daughters of Mary.

It includes a crèche, a school, an hospital, a center for disabled persons, a meeting place for women and men, as well as social rehabilitation and health education programs. On a piece of land 12 600 m², the sisters built the School of Peace, with a capacity for five classrooms, which could accommodate 3000 students.

Little by little, the ragpickers agreed to allow their children to access education, accepting the idea that school could be the solution for some of their difficulties.

For its 2016 and 2017 summer missions, SOS Chrétiens d’Orient came to help the Congregation. Volunteers assigned to Cairo provided English and French courses, organised manual and sports activities and regularly met disabled people from the Center.



Volunteering is a commitment for a defined period. The volunteer is committed to a mission to serve others. To volunteer at SOS Chrétiens d’Orient you must:

- be older than 18 years old

- stay for a minimum for 1 month

- being in good physical shape

- have parental agreement for a possible departure

"I ask you to be revolutionary. Have the courage to go to counter-current. And also have the courage to be happy!" Pope Francis, July 28, speech to the volunteers of the WYD, Rio de Janeiro.

"I ask you to be revolutionaries. Have the courage to go against the grain. And have the courage to be happy!"

Pope Francis,

July 28, speech to WYD volunteers, Rio de Janeiro.