The Sultan Foundation
Bringing jobs and economic opportunity to Cairo’s neglected City of the Dead district
The Sultan Qaitbey district of Old Cairo, commonly known as the Eastern Cemetery in the ‘City of the Dead’ is a low-income area afflicted with poor education, sanitation, health and transportation services, alongside a dearth of employment opportunities. With a large proportion of the local population illiterate, and a general lack of vocational skills, youth and female unemployment is one of the most pressing issues facing the community. Furthermore, the cultural heritage of the area, comprising important historical buildings, is at risk from encroaching illegal construction activities, made worse by misguided policies in heritage management.
The Sultan Foundation supports the social development of the district and preserves its cultural heritage by providing underprivileged women with the opportunity to manufacture and sell leather accessories. The women receive training in design, manufacturing, marketing and financial literacy, and income generated from sales is divided between the women and the Sultan Foundation.
Alfanar’s pilot year of investment will allow the Sultan Foundation to train 80 women in leatherwork, providing them with a transformative source of income. Alfanar will also help to strengthen the Sultan Foundation’s internal systems by providing Alfanar’s Sustainable Social Enterprise Training (ASSET) in full, alongside coaching in monitoring and evaluation and organisational restructuring.