Socio-economic Study and Non Formal Education For Children Working in Brick Factories
The Canadian International Development Agencys (CIDA) Climate Change initiative (CCI) in Egypt aimed at reducing green house gases emitted by brick production through an initial three-year project. A sample of 50 factories in the Arab Abu El Saed area underwent a conversion process from employment of heavy oil (mazot) to natural gas as an alternative source of energy.
In addition to the technology transfer, the initiative focused on the development of local capacity to understand and sustain the improvements that permit emissions reductions, making replication possible and desirable on a larger scale. CID Consulting was therefore chosen to conduct a socioeconomic assessment of the Arab Abu El Saed brick manufacturing area, with the objective of collecting socio-economic and health data about workers in the brick factories as well as communities nearest to the brick factories, and proposing programming measures to address the condition of workers.
Based on the results of the socio-economic study, CID Consulting designed a rights-based approach model which links technology inputs to workers' livelihoods and rights. CID Consulting targeted improving living and working conditions for working children in 50 brick factories to be replicated in 200 or more factories.
The CID Response:
CID Consultings Community Development team established a comprehensive curriculum for non-formal learning for working children and youth. The model integrated brick factory work into the curriculum that covered health, literacy, IT literacy, construction principles and animal health. CID Consulting also led initiatives to train teachers and to adopt innovative teaching methods such as the Montessori system. Alongside the learning program they implemented enriching recreational field trips and summer camps. CID Consulting impressively took on the design of a health and industrial safety program, which included the implementation of vaccination programs among its crucial objectives.
A learning haven now exists in Arab Abu Saed, balancing the harsh economic conditions faced by working children and youth. The establishment of a learning place within the brick factories has attracted private sector partners to support the project and its continuity. Over 200 children and youth have enrolled and acquired literacy skills, health and hygiene principles and IT skills. As important, they also now have opportunities to recreate and enjoy sporting activities as part of a more progressive growing experience.