Egypt is a collision between the modern and ancient worlds. Pyramids rise out of the desert sands while Cairo’s skyscrapers form a contemporary monument to progress and power. Egypt also faces modern challenges. Half of all Egypt’s children live in poverty, and girls are particularly vulnerable to risks associated with poverty such as prostitution, trafficking, and abuse. And in Cairo, many live within the city’s garbage areas, eking out a living by digging recyclables out of other people’s refuse. At their social and spiritual care centers located in one of Cairo’s garbage cities, Teen Ministry seeks to win girls to Christ and provide them with opportunities for empowerment, education, and personal development.
- A 2013 study found that over 50 percent of Egypt’s children live in poverty. In Cairo alone, over 40 percent of the population is below the poverty line, and one million children live in poverty.
- People within the garbage city where Teen Ministry operates support themselves by bringing garbage home for their mothers and sisters to sort for recyclables. Hygiene is a constant problem. They live with the garbage in their homes and have no water for bathing or washing. The garbage is in the same areas where families eat and sleep.
- The population of the garbage city is primarily Christian Orthodox, but few live a Christian lifestyle. The culture is highly tribal and steeped in violence and revenge.
- Girls within the garbage city spend between 12 and 14 hours a day rummaging through garbage to find valuables their families can sell. The majority are illiterate and have little or no access to education, basic hygiene, or the necessities of life. They are physically, verbally, and sexually abused. The abuse, violence, and harsh conditions have left many of these young women physically and psychologically wrecked.
- Teen Ministry provides medical and dental services and educates the girls about cleanliness and hygiene. They show the girls how to wash themselves and make small changes to improve cleanliness and hygiene in their homes and families.
- The ministry helps girls overcome illiteracy, reenrolls school dropouts, and provides tutors, furthering their quality of life by helping the girls prepare for school and university.
- Teen Ministry serves weekly meals and provides language and computer classes as well as opportunities for music and sports.
- Volunteers teach the girls crafts and handiwork. The ministry also teaches ethics and manners and provides counseling and emotional support.
- By using the Bible as a primary source for education, Teen Ministry helps girls recognize and live from their new identity in Christ.
- Over 5,000 girls have participated in Teen Ministry. Many have rejoined school and finished their education. Others have learned a vocation and started small businesses, and some are now working in the ministry, helping other girls have the same opportunities as themselves. Teen Ministry teaches girls how to shine the gospel’s light.
Teen Ministry began in 2000 by working with a small group of underprivileged girls in one of Cairo’s hardest and least-reached suburbs, then later moved to one of the garbage cities where their girls lived and worked. Today, Teen Ministry operates three ministry centers throughout Cairo and has impacted the lives of over 5,000 girls. Female circumcision has almost entirely been eradicated in the area, and some of the girls who graduated from Teen Ministry are now committed Christians who also serve on staff. Most importantly, the girls involved in Teen Ministry are growing into young women who are confident in their identity in Christ and will become leaders to the nations.
- Pray that Teen Ministry will be able to establish a community school which will help hundreds of students improve their literacy.
- Pray that the girls who are a part of Teen Ministry will be equipped to help others.
- Pray for the continued growth of and funding for their new ministry center and that the hearts of those who live in this garbage district will be open to the gospel.
- Pray for Teen Ministry’s girls who are in grade 12 that God will do his will in their lives as they apply to universities and colleges.