Gara Oasis Project
Remotely nestled in the Western Desert, about 300 km away from the nearest population cluster in Siwa Oasis, lays the village oasis of Gara Om El-Saghir. It is one of the smallest villages where one of the few remaining isolated ethnic groups live in Egypt today. They have their own unique language and traditions.
The inaccessibility of this village has kept its population isolated, thus creating one of the most deprived and vulnerable groups of people currently existing in Egypt, and possibly North Africa.
The only economic activities in the village are simple agriculture and handicrafts, which are sold to tourists.
In cooperation with the Environmental Quality International (EQI), Shell Egypt undertook a project in the small Gara Oasis, located on the borders of Shell’s West Sitra concession area. Launched under the auspices of the Governor of Matruh, the Project focuses on the advancement and implementation of a sustainable development programme improving environmental, social and economic conditions in Gara.
This has been achieved through the construction of a guesthouse (Madyafa) at Gara using local traditional architectural style, namely Kerchief.
The local community has carried out the building of this centre which serves as a means of reviving traditional architecture, albeit provided with state-of-the-art, environment friendly wastewater and passive cooling and heating technologies. The guesthouse also serves as an outlet for the marketing of local handicrafts to tourists.
Shell Foundation Development Programme at Beni Suef Governorate
The non-governmental organization, ‘Shell Foundation’, has granted US$ 61,000 to the Integrated Community Development Programme in the village of Dyabia in the upper Egyptian Governorate of Beni Suef, 90 km south of Cairo. The objective of the Integrated Community Development Programme is to improve the standard of living in Dyabia, the 100 poorest households in particular.
The community project is executed by a local NGO (COST) and supervised by an international NGO (DUET).
As part of the Programme, initiatives regarding the environment, education, agriculture and basic needs were carried out. The programme initiated the provision of drinking water, electricity and sewage system to the village. It also set up literacy classes, nutrition classes, medical check-ups and a health forum. In addition, income generation training sessions were introduced with the topic of small loans and loan applications.
A cleaning campaign in the village and five of its surrounding villages was also introduced. Overall, the programme has raised public awareness of the development of Dyabia village.
Shell Charity Committee
Shell Charity is a voluntary based committee composed of volunteer staff, as well as expatriate staff wives. It aims at supporting social organisations and orphanages in Egypt. Over the past years, the committee has supported a number of organisations by giving in-kind donations including the provision of necessary goods as well as production means to work, produce and earn living.
In 2007 Shell Charity shifted focus towards supporting community development associations (CDAs) located in impoverished areas. Initially, three CDAs were selected as serving the most underprivileged areas in Cairo.
Ezbet El Mobayad is a very poor area within Cairo with a high rate of unemployment and low school attendance.
In the absence of enough support groups providing active services in the area, Shell committee sought welfare for Ezbet El-Mobayad, covering the school fees of 200 children for five school years and handing over school items and uniforms.
Shell Charity also supports El Bedaya NGO, working in the underprivileged area of Manshiet Nasser, with material and is actively involved in training people and helping with public services. Furthermore, through El Bedaya, Shell helps many children successfully finish their schooling, with the aim of eventually enabling them to read and write.