The goal of NAFAS is to initiate and manage sports programmes that give street children and young people at risk a place to breathe, hence their name, which means “breath” in Arabic. By creating a positive medium through sports, participants can receive help tailored to their unique needs with social reintegration as the ultimate goal.
Founded in 2012, NAFAS originally focused on helping homeless children who were living on the street, but over the years they have expanded their outreach programme to different areas of Cairo, and now offer support to youth and men who may need it. While priority is given to those with more desperate needs, they have a “don’t turn anyone away” policy.
The most populous country in the Arab world, most of Egypt is desert, so about 95% of the population is concentrated in a narrow strip of fertile land along the Nile River, which represents only about 5% of Egypt’s land area. 42.9% of total population live in urban areas. (CIA, 2021)
Rapid population growth – 46% between 1994 and 2014 – stresses limited natural resources, jobs, housing, sanitation, education, and health care. (CIA, 2019)
Of Egypt’s 99.4 million population, 32.5% live below the poverty line (World Bank, 2018).
Youth Unemployment (15-24) is significantly higher for women than men, with 51.6% of young women unemployed, while 17.1% of young men are unemployed. (CIA, 2021)
In 2014, the Government started implementing a bold reform program, aimed at spurring the economy. The implementation of reforms along with the gradual restoration of confidence and stability has started to yield positive results. In fiscal year 2018, real GDP grew at 5.3%, compared to 4.2% in the fiscal year 2017. (World Bank, 2019)