The House of Torah was founded in 1985 by Sister Emmanuelle, a French Sister who dedicated many years of her life helping and living among the zaballine, the garbage collectors of Cairo. As a community center, the House of Torah provides the inhabitants of Torah neighborhood, in Maadi, Christians and Muslims alike, a large array of services: a kindergarten, an open yard to play ball games, a day-care for infants, and a representation hall. Among the various people involved in running the center, all educational and daytime activities are run by the Daughters of Mary, a congregation based in Beni Suef.
The Daughters of Mary, headed by Sister Takla, are notably in charge of:
A kindergarten providing early childhood education to some 200 children under 7 as well as basic math, Arabic and English;
A day-care center receiving some 30 infants under 3 in a healthy and safe environment while their mothers work sorting garbage;
After school classes offered to about 100 primary children who had been attending the kindergarten, in order to help them with homework and keep up with math, Arabic and English skills;
Summer camps offering recreational activities and some educational support during the three-month summer holidays;
An embroidery workshop providing women and out-of-school girls an income generating activity and literacy classes.
The Daughters of Mary, and notably Sister Issy, are also in charge a center for mentally disabled women in Torah housing a dozen young women who could not stay with their family, for financial reasons or because of the challenge of dealing with their handicap. The center residents go on a weekly basis to the House of Torah in order to engage in various recreational activities, and, for some of them, to learn basic reading and writing skills.
The money raised during the concert will support the education of the children of the people collecting the garbage and improving the environment in our neighborhood, Maadi. It will cover costs of the After school classes (books, notebooks and teachers’ salaries), Summer camps (teachers’ salaries) and in the Center for mentally disabled women (salary of an assistant).