Marianna Elias is in her second year of college, studying literature at Wadi-Enil University. She has three sisters and a brother. Their father is blind and has a small corner shop, which is principally run by the children of the family. The father’s pension is approximately 250 Egyptian Pounds (LE). In order to enhance the family income, the mother fills containers with fresh water to deliver to other households in the village. In the face of such poverty, Marianna took a year out to run the family’s humble shop to allow her younger sister to dedicate all of her time to her final year of high school exams. Marianna, along with her sister is now back at university.

Saint Kyrel Trust supports Marianna so that some of her basic needs are met, allowing her to concentrate on her studies.

Sponsoring a child or making a one-off donation allows St Kyrel Trust to reach out and assist more young adults in need.

We received an application for a grant form a student preparing to sit exams in Computer Science – Cairo University. Sherif lives in El-Ayat, some 35 Km south of Giza. Sherif told our representative that he lived in a house that did not have either clean water or electricity. He also mentioned the he often studied either in the street opposite his home to make use of the free light or does his work using candles. Our representative visited the student and confirmed it was hard to believe, but true. We agreed the application for him to start receiving the monthly grant immediately, and further helped the family to install a clean water line. We also assisted the family to apply for an electricity meter with proper wiring and power connections. Our student is graduating this year and doing so well that he might be going for a postgraduate degree, in which case we will seriously consider continuing assisting him.

It is worth noting that El-ayat and its neighbouring villages continue to witness harsh hostility from Moslem fanatics against Christians. In the village of El-girza, which is predominantly inhabited by Christians, a church has recently been burned down. The Christians have not been able to re-erect the church there, albeit obtaining all the required permissions. As soon as the building materials arrive, they are either stolen or vandalised in the middle of the night, which leads to violence eruption between the Christian villagers and thugs of Moslem fanatics. It is hard to believe, but true. At any case, these hard to believe but true situations are some of the reasons why St Kyrel Trust has begun serving in El-ayat.

Prayer Request

Two of our active representatives are very unwell. Dr Laila Tanash and Mme Wafa Ghobrial who serve in Cairo and Alexandria are both facing serious health problems. We request of you to share with us in praying for their speed recovery.

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We invite all our donors to talk to us and advise on how they think of our work. We want your opinion be part of our decisions. Please get in touch on the contact details shown below, or directly speak with any of the trustees.

The cobbler and his son

Category: Case Study

When we visited him, one could vividly see not only the striking poverty but also the sparkling and full of life eyes. He is Samir, one of our students in the poor area of “Fom El-Khaleeg” near old Cairo. His father is an old traditional cobbler, who is although working for a few pounds a day, diabetic with high blood pressure. Samir, the eldest son of a family of 5, whose income is barely sufficient for food, graduated with good marks at high school. There was a choice to make; either study Engineering as he always dreamt and hoped, or take up his father’s dying profession and try to make a living out of it. Being a cobbler in this day and age means a continuation to the same poverty and lack of self improvement, Samir explained. As he was dithering of what to do, he met St Kyrel Trust representative in the church and a formal application was filled and sent to us. With a family of 5 and income under 350.00 LE per month as well as high marks at high school, it was very easy to welcome Samir to our community of students. When he graduates, Samir is hoping to design an automated sewing machine, and we certainly look forward to his potential achievement.

Samir is one of many (many) of our brothers and sisters who need our help, and only with your support can we deliver this help. Please consider a regular donation using the attached standing order. God bless.

The trust has always received applications for help with a varying level of poverty from our representatives on behalf of poor Coptic students in Egypt. Reading the poverty on paper is one thing but seeing it live is a different matter altogether. Therefore we decided to visit some of the students who receive grants from the trust. On the way to a rural village in the countryside of upper Egypt, our representative in El-Minia was explaining the poverty conditions of some of the students in the countryside and how it differed from those in the city.

We arrived to the village and a short walk from transport station we came to the house of our student Michael. We were greeted by his parents and were asked to come in. It was very striking that the house had no furniture at all. They pulled a rug and asked us to be seated until they sent for their son, who was attending a youth meeting in church. The classical poor farm house was before us; a small baking furnace for making bread was in the main room and a sheep eating grass was visible through the door of the adjacent room.

When Michael, our medical student arrived, we went to his room upstairs through a shaky staircase open to the air! All the room had was a table which had his books and notes, and a chair. He admittedly sleeps on the floor. Yes, on the floor without even a sleeping bag. When we offered to buy him a bed, he strongly postponed accepting the offer being busy with exams. We offered him a new pair of trousers and a pullover, but again he strongly resisted, offering it back to someone who may need it more than him. We looked where he pointed claiming he had a lot of clothes and all we could see was one pair of trousers, a jalabeya, 2 sweaters and underwear hanging on two nails fixed to the wall. Dignity has certainly revealed itself in this young man louder than his poverty. The trust is taking serious steps to bring him to the UK for further medical training once he graduates.