Under the Auspices of H.E. President AbdelFattah ElSisi
Celebrating the conclusion of 2018 as the ‘Year of People with Disabilities’, H.E. President AbdelFattah ElSisi inaugurated the “Qesetna Fi Herfetna” exhibition supported by ALEXBANK and Sawiris Foundation for Social Development, to empower and integrate artisans with disabilities in the handicrafts sector.
Following the inauguration, the President proceeded to take a tour in the “Qesetna Fi Herfetna” exhibition, accompanied by Dr. Ghada Wali, the Minister of Social Solidarity, Dr. Ashraf Sobhy, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Dante Campioni, Managing Director & CEO of ALEXBANK and Mrs. Yousriya Loza-Sawiris, Secretary-General and Founder of the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development, alongside several key government officials.
“Qesetna Fi Herfetna” is a three-year initiative launched by ALEXBANK and the Sawiris Foundation, aiming at integrating artisans with disabilities in the creative economy, leveraging on the bank’s flagship CSR initiative “Ebda3 Men Masr”, cooperating with RADE (Regional Association for Development and Enterprises), Caritas Egypt – SETI Center and Yadaweya organisation.
Dr. Ghada Wali, Minister of Social Solidarity stated that such initiatives further validate Egypt’s strategic plans to promote inclusion, diversity and to empower all the Egyptian citizens. She added “Inclusion of People with disabilities and their empowerment is a necessity to develop the Egyptian society as a whole. Hence it brings me great joy to attend the launch of this pivotal event, coinciding with a significant social change towards acceptance and tolerance, attained through “Ebda3 Men Masr” initiative and Sawiris Foundation’s efforts to integrate people with disabilities in the handicrafts sector, which they have greatly developed.”
The cooperation will direct EGP 16 million in funds invested equally between ALEXBANK & Sawiris Foundation, to implement concrete steps to support the handicraft sector and integrate Egyptian artisans with disabilities in the creative economy. Moreover, it aims to support creating jobs, improving employability by creating entrepreneurial opportunities while promoting the preservation of the heritage of Egyptian crafts.
Dante Campioni, Managing Director & CEO of ALEXBANK stated “We are proud to be part of this celebratory event concluding the ‘Year of People with Disabilities’, during which several initiatives were taken in line with the country’s direction under the leadership of H.E. President AbdelFattah ElSisi. Through the established cooperation with the Sawiris Foundation, we also seek to empower people with disabilities, favouring their integration into the economic cycle.”
“Over the past years, ALEXBANK through its flagship CSR initiative “Ebda3 men Masr” has been keen to support local artisans and promote the Egyptian heritage as part of its strategy to apply the “Creating Shared Value” model. This event is a great addition to our plans to achieve sustainability and develop the community. This project also marks a great milestone in our partnership with the Sawiris Foundation, one of ALEXBANK’s main strategic partners,” added Laila Hosny, Head of CSR & Sustainable Development office at ALEXBANK.
Further commenting on the partnership, Yousriya Loza-Sawiris, Secretary-General of the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development stated: “This initiative is a testament to our belief in the right of people of disabilities to be empowered as a part of our society. Through our collaboration with our partners at ALEXBANK, who share our vision and purpose, we hope to provide artisans with disabilities with the required support to empower them economically and socially in order to achieve their hopes for a decent and productive life”.
“According to ILO reports, 1 out of 10 people worldwide suffer from disabilities, which is close to 650 million persons. 82% of them live in poverty due to the failure of many development programs in addressing their needs. In addition, most of them do not have the power to make decisions concerning their future, and find themselves destined to end up at the bottom of the social pyramid”, commented Eng. Noura Selim, Executive Director of the Sawiris Foundation. “Based on the principle of equality of opportunity, Sawiris Foundation’s strategy is comprised of the inclusion of people with disabilities and is specifically designed for supporting them in all our economic empowerment and education programs.”
It’s worth mentioning that the entire branding and invitation for the event were by Kiko-Christian Ananian’s designs, an Egyptian artisan with disabilities. The exhibition also displayed the work of approximately 30 exhibitors and organizations working with people with disabilities.