Below you can find some basic information about who we are, what we do and how to get in touch, find out more and support our work. Please look at the News page for details of events and sales.

Who are we?

We are a charitable organisation set up in early 2009 with three aims:

  • to support the zabbaleen (garbage collectors) community through the healthcare, education and training programmes of the Association for the Protection of the Environment (A.P.E.) in Cairo, Egypt
  • to promote awareness of the lives and work of the zabbaleen communities and the A.P.E.’s supporting partnership with them.
  • to provide income-generating opportunitiesĀ  for the zabbaleen girls and women who are trained in the A.P.E. workshops to produce beautiful handloom rugs & bags, patchwork quilts and handmade paper products such as greetings cards.

What do we do?

  • We give talks to interested individuals or groups, including school children and their teachers and student organisations.
  • We also deal with enquiries about the zabbaleen community from all around the world, including interested individuals, academic researchers and the media.
  • We buy the zabbaleen textile and paper products from the A.P.E. in Cairo and sell them at church bazaars, fetes, private coffee mornings and conferences. Soon we hope to have an online shop.
  • All profits from sales, funds raised from events and donations are sent back to Egypt where they are used by the A.P.E. to help fund a mother and baby clinic, kindergarten, after school groups, training and healthcare programmes.

How can you support us?

You can support our work by coming to our sales, talks and events, by buying products and making donations.

About the products made by the zabbaleen

These are all made of recycled materials. The paper waste comes from offices and factories and the rag waste is offcuts from textile mills and garment manufacturers. The craftswomen produce the items either working at home on a loaned loom or working communally in the A.P.E.’s workshops on the Mokattam site which is in the centre of the garbage village. They are independent craftswomen and are paid a fair price for what they produce. Their products are then put into the A.P.E. store, ready for sale and distribution.