AFRICA/EGYPT - Labour-emergency, Pope Tawadros promotes an agreement with the government to fight together the "scourge of unemployment"

Friday, 9 July 2021 middle east   oriental churches   work   child labor   youth   unemployment  


Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - Unemployment is the hidden scourge that takes away breath and existential energy from the young generations of many countries struggling with the opportunities and contradictions of economic globalization. Egypt, a nation where young people represent a significant percentage of the population, the labor emergency represents a serious burden for all development projects and exposes the multitudes of young people to the risk of living dispersive lives at the mercy of extremist propaganda, or of suffering the lure of easy profits promised by criminal activities. In this critical scenario, Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II has just attended the signing of two cooperation agreements between the Egyptian Ministry of Labor and the social and charitable organizations linked to the Patriarchate, agreements aimed at implementing concrete initiatives to counteract the " social scourge of unemployment (definition by Papa Tawadros) and especially to encourage young people in the search for dignified work paths.
The two memoranda of understanding were signed on Thursday, July 8 in the presence of the Coptic Patriarch and engineer Mohamed Ahmed Saafan, Egyptian Minister of Labor, during an official act hosted at the headquarters of the Patriarchate in Cairo. The two agreements aim to promote with concrete initiatives an adequate "culture of work" and entrepreneurial activity, together with an appropriate knowledge of the notions of health in the workplace aimed at spreading adequate awareness of the need to always guarantee safety for workers in activities and in the workplace.
The implementation protocols of the agreements also include the strengthening and adequate enhancement of the training and start-up centers for the labor market affiliated both to government departments and directly to the ecclesial bodies involved in the front line in the activities of service and solidarity In particular, the agreements provide for full synergy between government bodies and ecclesial bodies in the creation of professional training courses to be guaranteed every year to 800 girls and boys to facilitate their entry into the world of work. The training courses provided for by the agreements will guarantee to the participants obtaining a valid certificate as a qualification to be included in the curriculum to be submitted to companies looking for qualified personnel. The agreements - also reports the ecclesial information site Copts Today - also provide for the creation of a "forum" in charge of putting together requests and offers in the chaotic labor market and the regularization of workers who until now had worked in ecclesial structures without being able to enjoy the services guaranteed to employees by the state social security system.
In the context of the official signing of the agreements, Pope Tawadros stressed the importance of collaboration between public institutions and ecclesial bodies aimed at taking on the real needs of all Egyptian citizens. The Patriarch added lucid and realistic considerations regarding the labour-emergency, noting that globalization and the development of digital and technological tools, if they are not managed with the good of people and peoples as the prevailing criterion, end up having a negative impact on the world of work, especially exposing the younger generations to the risk of being torn apart by the “scourge of unemployment”.
At the end of the meeting, Pope Tawadros gave the Minister of Labor an icon of the Holy Family. The signing of collaboration agreements with public and governmental bodies in dealing with social emergencies, such as those of the exit from misery and the management of migratory phenomena, represents a practice now tested by groups and institutions linked to the Coptic Church, and confirms the attitude of that Church to bear witness to the Gospel in the warp of the daily life of Egyptian people, conditioned by real and vital urgencies such as that of finding a decent job to support themselves and their families. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 9/72021)