EpiscoCare’s Semi Annual Report

EpiscoCare, an NGO which is part of the Diocese, promotes sustainable development and addresses poverty in some of the poorest communities of Egypt. Their vision is to enable these communities to enhance their own standard of living and health, and to transform the lives of those most in need. They run the following programs in six community development centres around Egypt; Education, Health and Environment, Community Organisation, Training, Motherhood and Childhood, Social Care, Economic Development.

Please click on the button below for EpiscoCare’s 2013 Semi-Annual Report

EpiscoCare Report 2013

 

 

Dreaming to Become a Doctor – Impact of After-School Tutoring Classes

Education is one of the key priorities of the ministry of the Diocese in Egypt. We seek to provide high quality education through the Episcopal School in Menouf, the Deaf Unit, the Menara Centre for Special Needs Children, computer and language courses in Menouf, the Vocational Training Centre for the Disabled, literacy classes, after-school tutoring classes, and nurseries.

The large class size and the lack of trained teachers means that most children in Egypt take private tutoring classes. At our community development centres run by EpiscoCare, we offer after-school tutoring classes for children who can’t afford private lessons. This makes a big difference in the lives of these children. One of these children is Mary.

Mary goes to a government school in Ezbet el-Nakhl. She hates school because has difficulty learning there and she always used to get bad grades. The class is very large, the teachers are not qualified and the lessons are not explained well.

She was thinking of dropping out of school, as she didn’t learn there. She heard from a friend about the after-school tutorial classes at the Ezbet el-Nakhl Community Development Centre. Mary’s friend told her that the teachers are very helpful to the students, and they love the students and encourage them in their studies. Mary asked her mother if she could enroll in the class, and her mother agreed because the fees are very low and her family could afford them.

The first time Mary went to the class, she found a very different atmosphere and learning environment. The tutors explain the lessons in a very clear way, and they encourage the students and appreciate them even for small achievements. The staff respect everybody, regardless of whether they are a Christian or Muslim. Mary likes that the tutor pushes her to do her homework, and they provide some small gifts and meals.

Mary’s grades have improved dramatically since she started attending the tutoring classes. The tutors continue to explain and repeat the lessons until the students understand. Mary now feels that she has potential and can make something of herself. She now works hard at her studies and is very motivated. Mary dreams to become a doctor, and the tutors encourage her in this dream.

Confirmations in Tripoli

Bishop Bill and Hilary Musk recently visited Christ the King Church in Tripoli, Libya. Bishop Bill reports below

The clergy team is led by Rev Vasihar (wife Malini), representative of the significant Indian component of the English-speaking congregation that meets on Friday mornings for worship. Some members travel up to 400 km or more to attend church! Rev Vasihar is assisted by Rev Ayo (wife Rosemary and son Joshua) who especially gives leadership and pastoral care to the large African contingent who make up the bulk of the rest of the English-speaking congregation.

I confirmed fourteen Nigerian men and women whom Rev Ayo had prepared for confirmation. Rev Samuel (wife Hony) is a retired Egyptian priest who with great enthusiasm and wonderful pastoral care has built the Friday evening Arabic-speaking (nearly all Egyptian) congregation into a large group.

I confirmed sixteen Egyptians, plus handed out Alpha Course certificates to even more – all members of his growing congregation. Rev Gus, from Canada, assists the ministry as a non-stipendiary minister in both English and Arabic.

The clergy team seek to model a pattern of unity-in-diversity which is reflected in the makeup of the church as a whole. These are difficult days in Libya and the church provides a significant place of fellowship, worship, spiritual, emotional and physical sustenance for many people working in the country.

Annual Combined Service in Tunis

St George’s in Tunis hosted their annual, combined service outdoors recently. Over three hundred people participating in a thanksgiving service and potluck lunch. The university student group led the worship, and the church prayed for the nation of Tunisia. The lunch was eaten in groups according to the district where people live in order for people living near each other to get to know each other.

Pray for St. George’s as they continue to fundraise and plan for the Legacy Project. This project seeks to leave a legacy for the future by providing facilities for;

  • Theological education for the emerging leaders of the indigenous, Tunisian and North African church
  • Community outreach in the local, poor community
  • Enhancing our ministry of hospitality

For more information: The St George’s Legacy Project

Bishop Bill’s meeting with President Marzouki of Tunisia

At the beginning of Ramadan, Bishop Bill Musk joined the Roman Catholic archbishop, the Russian Orthodox priest and the Jewish rabbi to break the fast with President Moncef Marzouki of Tunisia. The President was solicitous of the felt-needs of minorities in the country and insistent that the new Constitution will guarantee freedom of worship and association in Tunisia. He was very upbeat about the political process, if somewhat less positive about the economic prospects and some aspects of the security situation in the country.

Less than a week later, a second opposition politician was gunned down (evidently by members of an extremist Islamist cadre) and major clashes emerged in the mountains in the west of the country between the army and extreme Islamist groups. The people came out on the streets and opposition groups left the fragile coalition. A new roadmap towards agreement on a nearlycompleted Constitution plus the appointment of technocrats to temporary leadership of government ministries may provide the possibility to inch this nation towards national elections at the end of this year/beginning of 2014. We pray and hope for new, consensus-based national leadership here – as for Egypt and Libya.

New Masters Program in Early African Christianity

Africa played an important role in the development of Christian theology worldwide. In September, a new Masters program for Early African Christianity was started through St Michaels and All Angels in Heliopolis, Cairo. 25 people filled the first cohort of students – men, women, Anglicans, protestants, Coptic-Orthodox. The group includes an Orthodox monk and a bishop. This group of 25 will study the beginnings of the Christian faith in (North) Africa and how this impacted Christianity worldwide. The course lasts three year, with 2 residential weeks each year, and about 10-15 hours of homework each week during the rest of the year.

This MA in Early African Christianity is organised under the auspices of Center for Early African Christianity at Eastern University, Philadelphia (USA). Dr. Michael Glerup, the director of this centre, lectured. The first study week was appreciated much by the students and they are presently working hard on assignments. The program is offered in English in order to enable non-Egyptians to participate.

For more information about the Masters program in Egypt: www.africanfathers.info.

 

Dedication of a new church in Nininyang, Gambella

Bishop Grant LeMarquand, the Area Bishop for the Horn of Africa, recently dedicated a new church in the town of Nininyang in Gambella, Ethiopia.

Bishop Grant says “The dedication service was a mixture of joy and sorrow. Merle raiders had attacked the village next to us, killing some, kidnapping others. The niece of Rev. Peter Kuel, the priest-in-charge, was one of the children killed.”

“A dear lady who had walked from a nearby village bringing with her the gift of a goat, was prevented from attending the service. She was arrested that morning on the charge of having, by witchcraft, killed someone who had been bitten by a snake. Peter and a member of the congregation who was a policeman obtained temporary release for her, pending trial the next day.  “It is impossible! She is a Christian!” declared Peter. We all gathered round and prayed”.

Please pray for this new congregation in Gambella,as they seek to follow Jesus in this challenging context.

For more information about the Horn of Africa, please visit Bishop Grant and Dr Wendy’s blog.

Youth Sports Camp in Alexandria

From 8-11 August 2013, the youth of the diocese  met  together  in  Alexandria  for  a  sports  camp,  led  by  Mr.  Mark  Takki,  the  Diocesan Youth  Coordinator.   For  four  days,  the  youth  were  taught  and  played  football,  volleyball,  dodge  ball,  jujitsu,  held  relay  races,  treasure hunts, Bible studies, ate meals, had fellowship, line danced, and shared in Holy Communion in a service led by Bishop Mouneer (who preached on the parable of the talents). The camp was attended by over 140 youth from around Egypt. Almost half were new to the youth ministry, and most of whom are now  involved local churches.

Mark says “We can see the fruits of our training of youth leaders for the last 5 years. We had a wonderful leadership team who ministered to us through planning the conference and leading the  praise and worship team. We planned together and did the mission together too!  The Youth Ministry is blessed to have a great teamwork to minister in the kingdom of God!”

Alpha Egypt has just released Youth Alpha in Arabic. These resources will be used to follow up with new youth in our local churches. Please pray for the youth and the youth leaders in our churches in Egypt.

 

 

Syrian Refugee Response

Throughout their history Refuge-Egypt has focused mainly on meeting the needs of the African refugee community in Egypt. However, as the crisis in Syria continues, we find ourselves in a unique position to provide medical aid in response to a worsening situation there. As an implementing partner of the UNHCR, we have been providing medical and nutritional care for Syrian People of UNHCR Concern.

There are now over 111,000 UNHCR registered Syrian refugees in Egypt, with thousands more unregistered and awaiting registration. Although the Egyptian government has granted Syrians access to public services, Egypt does not have the capacity to meet the demands of so many individuals.

Many of the poorest and most vulnerable Syrian refugees now live in the 6th October suburb of Cairo. It is in this clinic that we are pleased to welcome Dr Eriny Zakaria, our new team leader. The 6th October clinic that she leads is just one example of the way Refuge-Egypt is able to provide quality medical services  to patients who are high risk.

In November 2012, the UN conducted research amongst Syrian refugees in Egypt. In it they identified a strong need for medical support, specifically for primary, maternal and child healthcare. Since this research emerged, and upon the request of the UNHCR, Refuge-Egypt has provided ante and postnatal services for all Syrian refugees. This has been an enormous responsibility, but also an encouragement and a privilege. 20% of the 16,149 medical clinic consultations this year have been Syrians.Due to this tremendous need, and through the amazing support of our partners and friends, Refuge-Egypt is now able to establish a new antenatal clinic in Alexandria which will open in October.

For more information about Refuge Egypt please see the Refuge Egypt website or the Refuge Egypt Newsletter (September 2013)

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