Charitable organisations in Egypt have not been immune from the economic difficulties facing the nation; many struggle with gathering donations to maintain their operations. The Daily News Egypt spoke to a number of organisations to investigate the problems they face.
The Wataneya Society for the Development of Orphanages, established in 2008, aims to develop and implement a unified and integrated mechanism for Egyptian orphanages. Yasmeen Hegry, the external relations manager, said they have witnessed a major drop after the 2011 revolution, from both corporations and the individual donors: “Both donations dropped by 60%.”
Hegry added that the decrease continued in 2013: “we can still feel the consistency of the drop. The crisis has definitely taken its toll on us.”
The Egyptian children’s cancer hospital (57357), whose budget derives solely from donations, has also been affected by the economic slowdown in the country.
“The economic crisis has affected the amounts of donations the hospital receives… however, it’s visible that Egyptians are trying to participate with all their resources and zakat (alms-giving) in the organisation,” said Hanaa Farid, manager of the financial resources.
Farid added that the visiting rate has also changed during the past years: “We used to receive visitors all the time. People liked to pass by and check on the kids and see the development of the hospital that they helped build.”
“But the lack of clear vision and security during the current circumstances led the number of visits to decrease,” she said.
Farid stated that the hospital maintains a financial sustainability plan that permits it to function in lean times: “we put a clear running cost plan to rationalise the hospital costs. This strategic plan, which includes making bank endowments, allows us to continue offering the medical assistance the children need.”
Mostafa Zamzam, the spokesman for Dar El-Orman, a charity that supports the hospital, said that the number of visitors only decreased in the Cairo and Alexandria branches. “The remaining branches for the orphanages and the projects in south Egypt still receive the same number of visitors,” he said.
Zamzam added that the financial situation actually improved in 2013. “The amounts donated exceeded all expectations and increased by 30% compared to 2012.”
“It seems that the harder the situation gets for Egyptians, the more they give away”, he said.
He explained that this increase was encouraged by ability for contributors to donate online to Dar El-Orman.
“We also send our employees to receive any payments and this offers the donor an alternative to coming in,” he added.
Another organisation that seems to be suffering is the Resala foundation, which has been rumoured to be affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, whose donations have suffered.
Resala denied any association to the Brotherhood adding “we did not, do not and we will not affiliate with any organisation that has religious direction,” to their television advertisements.