Our actions Egypt

Egypt has the second largest Christian population in the east. Since the Revolution in 2011, the Coptic Christians of Egypt have endured an unprecedented cycle of violence and the horror is progressing slowly but surely.

Persecution and extreme poverty are the daily lot of Egyptians who live on the outskirts of Sinai and in upper Egypt. Socio-economic problems, lack of education and high unemployment are pushing parents and children to hard work in the south of the country or to harvest or work as ragpickers in the slums of Cairo.

Since April 2016, SOS Christians in the East has provided an emergency response to the situation and has developed social support projects in Egyptian territory with the support of Pope Theodore II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the Preaching of Saint Marc and all of Africa, as well as the Sisters of the Orthodox Congregation of Mary's Daughters.

In July 2016, walking in the footsteps of Sister Emmanuelle in Egypt, SOS Christians of the East set up a mission in Ezbet-El-Nakhl, one of the six slums in Cairo. Thanks to the help of the Orthodox Congregation of the Daughters of Mary, our volunteers are active on site throughout the summer, working with families, schools, sisters and parish sisters.

In Alexandria, the association provides financial support of up to 4000 euros for the nursery school, dedicated to poor children in the suburbs. In Dalja, it is involved in a project to rebuild the cultural centre for the Coptic community.

For two years in a row SOS volunteers went to al-Harif for summer camps. SOS Christians in the East has also participated in the purchase of a transport vehicle to facilitate the activities there.

Following the emergence of an Islamic State branch at the borders of Egypt, the threat to Christians and pre-existing intercommunal tensions are intensifying. The bloody and targeted attacks are increasing in the north of Sinai and in the al Arish region. Murders have become the daily lives for families. In 2017, there were 150 targeted attacks which resulted in at least 150 deaths, including many children and more than 200 injured.

As the rise of jihadists in Northern Sinai grows, more than 170 Coptic families have had to leave their homes and property to save their lives. They have taken refuge in Ismaïlya, bordering the Suez Canal. Although supported by the church and the authorities, the material conditions and the future of those families who have lost everything remains very uncertain. The Coptic community is already heavily tried, as again it plunges into horror.
SOS Christians in the East organises immediate emergency missions and transports several tons of food, water heaters and school equipment to assist these families.

Poverty extends to a large part of the Egyptian population so much so that some Christian families do not even have the means to celebrate Christmas. In anticipation of the holidays, 5 volunteers participated in the 2017 Christmas Mission with the Copts, providing speical food deliveries in one week to more than five Egyptian towns and villages as well as carrying out activities with the children there.

Due to the urgent demand, these operations will be repeated regularly.

Click on the location points to see the activities of our different missions Egypt

Maps of the missions

A child, a life, a mission

sos chretiens orient Egypt

Ezbet El-Nakhl is what can be called a "slum". A neighborhood built in haste where simple huts are the welcome homeplace of many poor Christian families from southern Egypt who come to Ca...

In figures

Zero volunteers

48 Current projects

22 Completed project

5 Places of Mission

Current projects



A child, a life, a mission

Ezbet El-Nakhl is what can be called a "slum". A neighborhood built in haste where simple huts are the welcome homeplace of many poor Christian families from southern Egypt who come to Cairo seeking work and a better life.

Among the one million people living in this city, many are ragpickers who roam the megalopolis of Cairo from nightfall to early morning looking for all the waste which can be collected, transported, sorted and recycled.

Volunteers come daily to be with the ragpickers and their children. They are present in their daycare, schools, clinics and dispensaries for disabled people. They share their daily lives and difficulties and create strong bonds with the people there, whilst documenting and publicizing for the people at home, the situation in Egypt.

These ragpickers are known to us thanks to Sister Emmanuelle's great action! At their side for more than 20 years, she alerted French and international public opinion about their living conditions, difficulties and persecution. It is due to her work that since June, SOS Chrétiens d’Orient has taken up the torch to help the people of Ezbet El-Nakhl.


A glimmer of hope for the slum hospital

In the south of Cairo, the slum of 15 May in Helwan counts 5,000 inhabitants, mainly Coptic-Orthodox.

The conditions of life are extremely precarious. There is only one water pipe for the whole city, electricity is stolen from the nearby souk and brought to the slum by very rudimentary electrical facilities. The seven-hundred fifty families who live there, piled up in narrow houses. Around these homes, the children run and play, without shoes and play in the pile of waste and garbage that accumulates around them.


Fight against food insecurity

In the isolated villages of el Gouira and el Bangar and in the slums of Cairo, mostly Christian, families are gathering in small houses, often made of steel, or small apartments like those in Matarya. Living conditions are basic and food needs urgent, especially for young children. Winter comes and with it a striking cold.


Give the dead a decent burial

A community in loss due to the massive emigration of the 50s and then from other decades right down to the present day, the Catholic Armenians are now a few thousand throughout Egypt but can count on their bishop, Monsignor Krikor Koussa, an Armenian originating from Aleppo, who prays each day that God  protects his community and property and to develop the activities of his church.

Monsignor Krikor Koussa, is a true "workaholic", as his parishioners love to call him, who continues his mission throughout all of Egypt, participating in all the synods, visiting the sick and the elderly as well as filling the role of chaplain to the volunteers!

Thus, it was natural that the volunteers paid a visit to the Catholic Armenian cemetery in Cairo, located two steps from the suspended church and close to the remains of one of the first churches in old Cairo.


Abandoned and isolated, the disabled are waiting for your help.

Almost thirty disabled people crowd in a large room with a dingy paint job, a few wooden benches, an image of the Virgin Mary. In the heart of the district of El-Nakhl, two Coptic orthodox Sisters of the Congregation of the Daughters of Mary, Maria and Maguida, have devoted their lives to caring for these, with almost no means at all.

Thus, health and hygienic conditions are far from our European standards.

The smell of this is sometimes nauseating (sewers that do not drain properly, waste in stagnation, urine...).

Some sleep on the floor, others, too violent, are locked in the dark, in a separate room with their hands tied. Abandoned at birth, they receive absolutely no visits from anyone except perhaps a few people at Christmas time.


A school for the ragpickers

Welcome to the unhealthy labyrinth of narrow dirty streets, deformed by the passage of garbage carts. You're in Cairo, at Ezbet El Nakhl. Here, the ragpickers live among garbage as they have done for generations. Children are no exception as they follow their parents all day long in waste piles. They're playing on these piles of garbage, where rats and germs are swarming.