By Rana Sidani Cassou

The Egyptian Red Crescent Society’s health and safety programme, which teaches children and young people how to create a culture of hygiene, health promotion and risk reduction, is celebrating ten successful years.

The programme supports students aged between 9 and 15 years old, and also educates school staff members are parents. Topics covered include first aid, hygiene and healthy lifestyles, disaster preparedness, climate change, road safety, and a culture of non-violence and peace.

More than 13,000 students and 1,595 teachers from 617 schools in 23 governorates have been trained every year since the programme was launched.

Dr Nehal Hefny, Deputy Secretary General of the Egyptian Red Crescent, said: “The programme has been effective in raising awareness in 23 governorates. Our aim is to reach even more communities in all of Egypt’s 27 governorates in the near future.”

Reaching thousands of children

“The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies supported the launch of the project and the pilot implementation. Thanks to this programme, many children in different areas are benefiting from it – including migrants,” Dr Hefny added.

More than 110 Egyptian Red Crescent volunteers are each covering an average of five public schools in each governorate where the programme is implemented. Every year, a hundred students and ten teachers are trained in every participating school, and the activities also reach families and the surrounding communities through summer clubs and public libraries. The project is supported through a partnership between the German Red Cross and Egypt’s Ministry of Education.