Helwan Association for Community Development (Bashayer)

Helwan, Egypt
Alfanar Investee since:
Total Alfanar investment:
Current cost recovery:
Social impact:
371 women employed in the production unit; 1,500 patients served annually by the health clinic.

Bashayer is bringing new economic opportunities for women in Helwan by employing them in handmade textile production.

The Challenge

One of Cairo’s largest suburbs, Helwan, became an industrial area in the 1960s and houses one of the country’s largest universities. Yet the city’s inhabitants, many of whom live in make-shift housing that has mushroomed on the city’s outskirts, are often deprived of basic state services and the area has become a hotbed of poverty, crime, illiteracy and disease, issues which disproportionately impact women and children.

The organisation

Established in 1987, Bashayer runs a variety of programmes that support the women of Helwan, including a crochet and sewing production unit that employs more than 300 women.

What we’ve done together

Since 2007, Alfanar has worked with Bashayer to strengthen two areas of the organisation’s activities: the health clinic and the production unit.  As well as supporting the costs of running Bashayer’s production unit, Alfanar has sourced marketing, sales and design experts who have worked with the unit’s staff to analyse costs, pricing and product coding, identify sewing skills requiring instruction and provide further training, improve promotional materials,  connect with new markets and produce new collections that are more attuned to market demands.