EFG Hermes Foundation completed Ro’ya 2008, an integrated development project providing housing, running water, sanitary facilities, electricity and services to the 7,000 residents of the village of Ezbet Yacoub in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Beni Suef.
The LE 26 million project, inaugurated in 2008, has delivered a total of 450 new and refurbished homes, a figure almost double the 270 homes targeted initially. “The completion of Ro’ya 2008 marks the successful conclusion of one of the most ambitious CSR initiatives undertaken in Egypt to date,” EFG Hermes said in a statement.
“We are very pleased with the final result of this dynamic project, as we have been able to go above and beyond our original plans for the village, contributing to the community’s success with improved housing and a network of services and infrastructure that will sustain the village into the future,” says EFG Hermes Foundation Executive Director Hanaa Helmy.
Ezbet Yacoub was one of Egypt’s most impoverished communities, with 80 percent of residents living in clay housing unsuitable for human dwelling. The village had no running water, electricity, sewage infrastructure and there were no clinics, schools or bakeries in the area.
The project aimed to provide better services to the village. A new sewerage system and a wastewater treatment plant that recycles sewage water for irrigation were introduced in the village. A new community center, fully staffed by village residents, incorporates essential services including a bakery, health clinic, dairy lab, children’s nursery, and a vocational training center.
Income-generating initiatives, such as microfinance and animal husbandry projects and a ‘Plant a Tree’ initiative will provide the villagers with stable, sustainable sources of income and small-business finance into the future, the statement read.
“We felt strongly that, beyond offering the villagers improved homes, it was necessary to provide them with the work opportunities and access to finance for microenterprises that will allow them to maintain these new homes and improve their circumstances beyond the conclusion of the project,” said Mona Zulficar, EFG Hermes Foundation Chairperson.