National partner profile: Egypt



The goal of NAFAS is to initiate and manage sports programmes that give street children and young people at risk a place to breathe, hence their name, which means “breath” in Arabic. By creating a positive medium through sports, participants can receive help tailored to their unique needs with social reintegration as the ultimate goal.

Founded in 2012, NAFAS originally focused on helping homeless children who were living on the street, but over the years they have expanded their outreach programme to different areas of Cairo, and now offer support to youth and men who may need it. While priority is given to those with more desperate needs, they have a “don’t turn anyone away” policy.

NAFAS work in partnership with Ana El Masry (I the Egyptian) Foundation who run the administrative side of the foundation, while NAFAS are in charge of running the outreach sports programmes, maintaining equipment, and expanding their network. Their sports programmes currently offer biweekly football practices in four different locations in Cairo, but NAFAS are working to expand their football sessions across 14 neighbourhoods in Cairo by September 2015.

Their sports programme has already reached more than 500 vulnerable people. In 2014, they represented Egypt at the Street Child World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, where they won the “Most Inspiring Team Award.” The boys that travelled to Rio were also awarded try-outs for second division teams in Egypt.

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Mission statement


The mission of NAFAS is to rehabilitate homeless and marginalised youth through sports.

They work to give children at risk a place to breathe; the name NAFAS means breath in Arabic.

The name NAFAS means breath in Arabic.

Goals for the future


To initiate a programme that can create different areas of revenue in order to ensure its sustainability

Programme Development

To initiate and manage a sports programme for children at risk, with the aim of reintegrating them back into society


To start an annual league involving 14 teams from neighbourhoods in Cairo and Giza and from then select participating teams to represent Egypt at the 2016 Street Child Games in Rio

Additional information

Partner since


Football Activities

Tournaments and biweekly training sessions in Cairo and Giza

Non-football services

Coaching qualifications and advice and advocacy for participants

Participants challenges

Poverty, homelessness, lack of family stability

Organisation challenges

The government does not recognise NAFAS as a social enterprise.  Securing national identification documents for participants can also be challenging due to bureaucratic procedures in Egypt.

Country challenges

According to an Associated Press report, nearly half of all Egyptians live under or just above the poverty line. More than 15 million Egyptians live on less than $1 a day, and the figure is steadily increasing (AP, 2011). From 2005 to 2009 the poverty rate in Egypt had risen from 19% of the population to 21%. In 2010/2011, the poverty rate in Egypt had risen to 25% of the population (EDN, 2013)

Homlessness definition

Egypt defines people as homeless according to the quality of their housing. People living in marginal housing (Iskan gawazi) and unsuitable housing are regarded as homeless. These include residents of shacks, kiosks, staircases, rooftops, public institutions, and cemeteries. (UN Habitat)

Homelessness Statistics

More than 15 million people in Egypt live in slum areas, of which 40% are located in Greater Cairo region (UN Habitat).

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