Although volunteerism was the basis of civil society activities, the demand for them has been declined for many years due to the absence of value and culture of volunteering work in Egyptian society.
The Egyptian society has experienced severe crises due to the absence of encouraging soul for doing volunteering activities, the increase in unemployment rates among young people, the high cost of living, and the need to do many jobs, in addition to the lack of development and community projects that organize the work of volunteers and define their tasks.
According to the United Nations publications on the millennium sustainable development goals, volunteering comes at the top of goals, as it considered part of the development process based on building the human being, increasing the areas of social cooperation between individuals, and providing an opportunity for development and community stability through mutual solidarity among individuals.
The UN believes that volunteers are always the first persons to provide help in emergencies and are always at the frontlines in the face of crises and disasters, and they are able to contribute positively in the areas of public health, communication, monitoring, data analysis, and psychological support, which appeared during the coronavirus pandemic.
After the new civil societies’ law has been passed in Egypt, the culture of volunteering surfaced again driven by some articles that support the freedom of volunteering.
Such laws had facilitated the work of volunteers in various societies and then got a greater boost with the emergence of a number of mega national projects based on benefiting from non-governmental organizations and independent youth initiatives Such as the Decent Life Initiative, which has so far joined 18,000 volunteers who have registered themselves at the Ministry of Social Solidarity, including large development organizations such as the Sonaa elkhair Foundation and other youth initiatives such as the Egyptian Youth Campaign, Yalla Sisi, and etc.
According to a report published by the Extra News TV channel, the volunteers in the Decent Life Initiative were not limited to young people, but the initiative created a positive reaction from a large segment of people, including men, women, old people.
When a volunteer asked why did he decide to join the initiative, he simply answered, ” This makes me happy”, which is a sign of the spread of the culture of volunteering, and how it brings happiness and psychological comfort in a period of time characterized by depression and tension due to the negative repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic.
But the ‘Decent Life’ is not the only volunteer initiative, but there are many volunteering initiatives such as the Koshk El-Akhlaa “Kiosk of Ethics” initiative, which tries to re-establish the morals and values of Egyptian society through dialogue sessions with the youth of the campaign.
The expansion of the culture of volunteerism in Egypt is mainly backed by a political will expressed by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi when he spoke of his desire for the Egyptian citizen to contribute to building his country by spreading the culture of volunteerism and supporting the civil society movement for the development of the country.
This article was prepared by [Mahmoud Basiony] in his personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of SEE or its members.