The Resala Charity Organisation continues its efforts to try and create better living conditions for those in need of support by harnessing the time and efforts of volunteers and directing them towards doing good.
Its efforts to alleviate the hardships of many in Egypt include the founding of a free hospital and school, programmes to take care of the elderly, orphans and the disabled, in addition to many other initiatives like providing Iftars for people during the holy month of Ramadan.
Additionally, Resala is a good place for you to send your old books and clothes. Among its various activities the organisation is recycling paper, collecting clothes and distributing them to those who need them.
Sara Ayad, who works in the volunteer administration of the organisation, has said “we accept any paper product. We go through what we receive and distribute them based on how useful they are. We have a borrowing system for scientific books for example, other books like school books we give away to those who need them. We also have book fairs where we sell the books we do not need for symbolic prices like EGP 1 or 2.”
When a use cannot be found for books or papers they are sold to paper factories which recycle them. “We do not have our own recycling plant but we sell the books and the money is used by the organisation,” Ayad explained.
Just as important as making sure these paper products are recycled is creating awareness for the need to recycle and this is also part of what Resala does. “We explain to the people what recycling is and we tell them how important it is for the country,” Ayad said. These awareness campaigns take place on Facebook and the internet, as well as on the streets and in the squares according to Ayad.
Omnia Ashraf, who is responsible for the clothes sorting activities in the 6th October branch of Resala, explained how clothes are collected and then organised.
People can drop off the clothes at Resala’s branches, or alternatively Resala offers a home pick-up service. “Then we sort the clothes into male and female clothes and organise used-clothes drives and sell the clothes for prices that range from EGP 5 to 10. We use the money to buy new clothes for orphans,” Ashraf explained. The drives are held in impoverished areas and there are six permanent drives throughout the year.
Some of the clothes are handed out for free to people who take the illiteracy classes and extra tuition classes for school children which Resala provides. Clothes that have stains or tears are not used. “Damaged clothes are sold to companies that re-use them,” said Ayad.
“New clothes that are donated are sometimes given to brides-to-be who cannot afford to buy new clothes before they get married,” Ashraf added.
A major drive to collect clothes will be held by the 6th October branch this Thursday, 9 August. The event, titled Last Chance, attempts to collect the old clothes and will be followed by the national Clothes Day which Resala traditionally holds every year on 29 Ramadan.
Resala is an organisation which has grown to become a symbol of civil society initiatives in the country. Started small in 1999 by a group of students at Cairo University, it has grown into an organisation with branches all over the country that carries out at least 24 different activities and has thousands of volunteers who give generously of their time.