Partners: Ministry of Youth and Sports and WHV initiative managed by the UNECO

Year of Implementation: 2017

Historic Cairo Youth Camp program focuses on reviving the cultural heritage of the historic Cairo area representing a cultural property inscribed on the List of World Heritage since 1979. The program is a part of the “World Heritage Volunteers Initiative 2017 (WHV)” in the framework of the UNESCO efforts in the resuscitation and the preservation of the world heritage.

Derived from the UNESCO’s leading concept that World Heritage sites belong to all people of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located, thus the program focused on the universal application of the world heritage by bringing together international volunteers from different countries (Brazil, France, Japan, Switzerland, Romania, England) as well as local volunteers to attend the Historic Cairo Youth Camp that lasted for 12 days.

The camp includes different activities such as training sessions, site visits, workshops. By the end of the camp the participants have designed and implemented two initiatives that aim at raising awareness of young people about Cairo’s historic monuments and encouraging the local community to get involved in the process of continuous preservation of the site.

1-The first one is called Hold Cairo:

The participants have created a hashtag called #hOldCairo, which contains the three words (hold), (old) and (Cairo). To activate the hashtag they have created an Instagram photo frame and 3 boards placed in strategic locations along El-Moez Street containing a collection of pictures and information about historical Cairo sites. In this way, the team has succeeded to inform a large number of passerby about the project and doing interviews with them in attractive way. The logic behind the hashtag was to have a long term impact, through the collection of stories and interviews by passersby that will subsequently posted on the internet under the aforementioned hashtag.

On the other hand, the team has organized an awareness day in “Al Mowasla” Youth Center in cooperation with the Ministry of Youth and Sports to raise awareness of the children through different interactive activities and games that shed the light on the value of historic Cairo monuments.

2- The second one is called Bringing Cairo Back:

Participants came up with the idea after doing a survey with people in El Moez Street, then they decided to focus on the solid waste management representing a crucial problem affecting heritage preservation in urban areas. On the other hand, the team has contacted several companies who have developed a specific system to collect waste and recycle it and giving money in return. In this way, they have found a tool that could motivate people and professionals (restaurants, shops) to care about waste-sorting in the old Cairo area since they could benefit from it financially.

The team organized an awareness day in El Moez Street having the slogan “Bringing Cairo Back”. They provided the passersby with information about the importance of dealing in different ways with waste in such a valuable area, and about the existing solutions such as the companies mentioned above. This was done by distributing brochures about the solid waste management, the importance of the recycling, the different companies that recycle waste in Cairo.

They have also prepared recycling baskets that was distributed to the shops and restaurants in this area to encourage them to sort their waste and become ambassadors, examples of this initiative.