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Who is Teresa Saeed driving change through recycling in Egypt?

10:09 AM Mar 29, 2023 IST | Ground report
who is teresa saeed driving change through recycling in egypt

Teresa Saeed, who spent her childhood in Cairo’s Manshiyat Nasser, famously known as ‘the city of garbage’, used to search through the scattered garbage to find paper and other materials to satisfy her passion for drawing and painting.

Empowering Children through Recycling in Manshiyat Nasser

According to Reuters, Teresa Saeed is now 34 years old and runs a charity that inspires local children to use her environment in creative and positive ways by discovering the area and recycling.


Manshiyat Nasser, a suburb located in the eastern part of Cairo, consists of unpainted brick buildings, and the streets and buildings are often littered with garbage collected from all over the metropolis, which is informally processed or recycled.

Who is Teresa Saeed?

Teresa Saeed, the founder of the charity ‘Mesaha’, an Arabic term for ‘space’, believes that children living in this area are constantly surrounded by recycling and should be educated to recycle in a way that reduces consumption and benefits to society.


Teresa Saeed spent her childhood in Cairo’s Manshiyat Nasser. Her charity organizes weekly recycling activities for children between the ages of six and fifteen, with 150 to 200 children taking part.


In two-day workshops, children gather plastic bottles, sticks, cardboard, paper, and cans, and turn them into piggy banks, musical instruments, puzzles, or paintings.


Saeed said that these activities help children connect with their environment and think creatively. She added: ‘Instead of getting angry with the environment around me, how can I do something that adds value to it?’


Transforming communities through empowering children

Saeed aspires to expand the project to other areas of Egypt, with the dream of raising the children to become change leaders in their future professions or wherever they go.

Furthermore, Saeed’s charity has succeeded in changing the perception of Manshiyat Nasser from a ‘junk town’ to a community of resourceful and talented people.

Mesaha’s initiatives have helped instill a sense of pride and purpose in local children, and the positive impact of the project extends beyond the realm of recycling.

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