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Lebaladna Bridges the Gap between Basic Needs and Development

17 November, 2015
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What started as a group of friends distributing meals in their local areas during Ramadan has turned into a fully fledged social initiative: Lebaladna Development Foundation. Based on the concept of combining charity work to meet the basic needs of Egyptians with development programs that allow for sustainable change, Lebaladna focuses on four key developmental pillars; health, education, food supply and shelter.

"Unlike many other organizations working in the field, we believe that charity and development must go hand in hand," said Sara Shaltout, Digital Marketing Manager at Lebaladna. "For development to have a true impact basic needs must also be addressed. When you work on both tracks you bridge the gap.

In 2010 when the organization was first registered, Lebaladna focused mainly on food distribution and the collection of donations to help poor people who had been jailed for unpaid debts. Yet they wanted to be more than just a charitable organization and truly start to drive social change and development.

"We started to develop a proper organizational structure and established a research and development department where volunteers would go into slum areas all over the country and start identifying the needs of these communities," added Shaltout. Four years on, Lebaladna is working to empower the poorest members of society in accessing the tools and skills they need to create a better life for themselves.

"Education is a big part of what we do and this not only means providing access to education for the less fortunate, but also educating the public on the many ways they can help those who have less than them," explined Shaltout.

Just one of the main educational projects that have been implemented is the drop-out program. It is estimated that more than 4% of students drop out each year, many for social reasons such as the need to contribute to family earnings. The result is a continued cycle of poverty perpetuated by the unfinished education that these children receive.
This program works to bridge the gap between the level of education the child was at when they left the school system and the level they need to be at to successfully rejoin. By providing families with charitable support, the need for children to remain drop-outs is eliminated.

Lebaladna's activities are diverse and address many of the challenges Egypt's poorest face, but whatever the project, the goal is always the same, to provide a better quality of life. Starting on Friday November 28, Lebaladna will launch their newest campaign: a blanket drive to keep the homeless and poor warm during the winter months.

"Last year we collected and distributed around 8,000 blankets, this year we are aiming for 10,000. The campaign will last for two months with blankets being distributed in a different area each Friday," said Shaltout. Lebaladna welcomes the donation of old blankets from the general public and volunteers to join in the weekly initiative.


Image: courtesy of Lebaladna.

Tags Egypt charity Development social issues Education in Egypt Health in Egypt Middle East non-profit poverty Because