Zeinhom is one of the largest squatter areas in Cairo as its area amounts to 50 acres. When the implementation of this development project started in 1999, it was inhabited by 4000 households (about 20,000.00 capita). ERC selected Zeinhom district to start a unique development experience to sustain the interest in community development as Zeinhom district is an example of a large squatter area. Furthermore, these squatter areas are adjacent to ERC branch in Cairo and warehouse for the Headquarters of ERC.

Upgrading and developing were based upon two axes:

First Axis: Upgrading the civilization, educational, health and cultural level of the citizens.

Second Axis: Complete demolition of the slums. Establishment of modern buildings with urban planning and suitable health, environmental and human specifications and providing greenery. Transferring these households to provisional residence places affiliated to Cairo Governorate, mostly in MothlethHelwan; some in Nahda city and Mokattam until they eventually return to their original places of residence in Zeinhom after completion new housing units that are economically, environmentally and health-wise appropriate.

The project was implemented in three phases:

The First Phase: construction of 29 residential buildings including 348 housing units.

The Second Phase: construction 81 residential buildings including 972 housing units.

The Third Phase: construction 71 residential building including 1136 residential units.

During their temporary stay, the members of the households offered different developmental activities; educational, cultural, social economic and health to be, upon return, in better conditions from all aspects which contained after successive return of the households. Activities included:

  • A cultural and social center for women was established.
  • Health services:
    • Provision of therapeutic services through the furnishing and operation of ERC clinics for gynecology, reproductive health, internal medicine, pediatrics against a modest return. In addition, establishment of pharmacy and clinical laboratory.
    • Development of direct health awareness in the field of reproductive health by the help of female health leaders through home visits.
    • Promotion of awareness in different aspects of public health and environment.
  • Educational services:
    • Opening 21 literacy classes in cooperation with the General Agency for Literacy and adult Education.
    • Facilitating enrollment of pupils in primary and preparatory schools.
    • Coordination with schools to facilitate the re-enrollment of dropouts and provide student enhancement classes.
  • Social Services:
    • Conducting a social survey and detailed field study of the conditions of the households.
    • Establishment of network of social relations
    • Establishment of clubs for women.
    • Establishment of nurseries.
    • Establishment of clubs for children.
  • Vocational Activities:
    • Training for youth included establishment the information technology club in cooperation with the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology to train youth on computer skills.
    • Handicraft activities for women.

The cost of the project is 200 million pounds, an amount of 150 million pounds was donated by the ERC to build the houses and 50 million pounds were incurred by Cairo governorate and the concerned governmental bodies.

The ERC is implementing a social, health, and cultural integrated program for the inhabitants, which includes: health care and awareness, establishing a socio-cultural center for women that would include a club for women, a nursery, literacy classes, a center for teaching crafts, together with establishing an Information Technology (IT) center.


Successful partnership between the Egyptian Red Crescent and Cairo Governorate was on of the main reasons of success of the project. Cairo governorate built and renovated all infrastructures for the new housing units, the roads as well as central public services utilities, police station, post office, family health unit, commercial markets etc.

Private sector and national donors helped financing the project either through building housing units according to the specifications or donations to the Egyptian Red Crescent.