13 November 2006
At the Rowing Club on the banks of the Nile in Sohag Governorate – about 500 kilometres south of Cairo- celebrations took place on Monday as the eight feluccas of the “Sailing the Nile for Development” project approached the bank. In this project, which was launched in Aswan on October 29th
, eight feluccas travel north down the Nile from Aswan to Cairo. The sail of each carrying the icon of one of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), these feluccas will make eight stops, highlighting in each stop one of the MDGs through various activities and creative ideas.
“Sailing the Nile for Development” is a partnership between the Egyptian Government and local authorities, the United Nations, civil society and the private sector- aiming to raise awareness about the MDGs and to unite the efforts of all parties for achieving these goals by 2015. In Sohag, the fourth stop for the feluccas, MDG2 on achieving universal primary education was the focus.
At the opening ceremony, the Governor of Sohag Mr. Mohsen Al Noamany emphasized his commitment to achieving all MDGs not only the one concerned with universal primary education. “I am proud to say that Sohag is on the right way towards achieving the MDGs”, said Mr. Al Noamany citing different projects that his local government is undertaking. He also referred to the importance of forming partnerships with other agencies such as the United Nations mentioning that “we are all on board one ship”.
Amira Fouad, UNCIEF Egypt Assistant Education Officer mentioned the importance of participation of each member of society in order to achieve the goals by 2015. “Sailing the Nile aims at creating channels for all members of the community so they can take part in seeking achievement of MDGs” said Fouad. Mr. Mostafa Barakat, Director of Youth Association for Population and Development in Sohag, also mentioned the great importance of engaging the youth in the development process saying that it is one of the main reasons why the NGO was created.
Meanwhile, Dalia Hassan, Girls’ Education Initiative programme manager at the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM) spoke on behalf of Secretary General Ambassador Moushira Khattab saying that there is still disparity between boys and girls in primary school enrolment. “So far boys’ enrollment in primary education is 94% while girls’ are 91%. We aim to make primary education available for all Egyptians by 2015” said Hassan.
During the two day event in Sohag stop, different activities were organized to raise awareness on MDGs as a whole and education in particular. On the first day, a stage was set up in the community sports stadium, where songs were performed by children from local schools and a number of documentary films were screened, including “Sotna” episode – produced by UNICEF on community schools in Sohag, in collaboration with two teenagers from the Governorate. On the second day, local youths gathered to discuss MDGs aboard the eight feluccas. Also several cultural activities took place such as a play on HIV/AIDS, poetry reading and a puppet theatre on the issue of the environment.
The feluccas will arrive at the next stop- Asiut- on Saturday, where MDG1 on eradication of extreme poverty and hunger will be highlighted.
“Sailing the Nile” website: www.sailthenile.org
For more information please contact:
Consultant Communication Section, UNICEF Egypt
Tel: 526- 5083 through 5087 (Ext. 212), E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Eva Otero Candelera
UNV Programme Officer
Tel: 394-9004, E-mail: email@example.com