Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services
|Reverend Andrea Zaki Stephanous (General Director)|
CEOSS, an Egyptian development organization headquartered in Cairo, Egypt, is dedicated to social and cultural development, individual well-being, social justice and inter-cultural harmony. It delivers its services regardless of gender, race, religion, or beliefs. CEOSS reaches out to more than 2 million Egyptians annually in more than 100 rural and urban communities regardless of gender, race, religion, or belief. As an active voice promoting pluralism and mutual respect in an Egyptian context, CEOSS encourages the participation of Egyptians from all segments of society—Muslim and Christian, rich and poor, educated and uneducated, powerful and powerless—to work together towards common goals. Through successive stages in its history, CEOSS developed its strategies and methods of work, seeking to empower citizens, local communities and NGOs to become an active partner in the development processes of social, cultural and economic development in order to improve the quality of life for poor communities and marginalized groups. CEOSS involves these groups in its programs and activities in areas of education, economy, health and culture to meet the challenges of life by directing them within the framework of "social restructuring". CEOSS has also been dedicated to bringing the movements of political and social change. The FID conducts dialogue forums at local, regional and international levels, which focus on building bridges of respect, understanding and coexistence while addressing pressing issues related to the development of Egypt. Over the years, across different regimes, CEOSS’ work has been to serve the people. In doing so, it cooperates at local and national levels with the government, universities and research centers, private sector, and civil society organizations.
The mission of CEOSS is to promote the sanctity, equity, and harmony of life. It seeks to contribute to the transformation of society by nurturing moral and spiritual awareness, enhancing a sense of belonging, promoting respect for diversity, addressing conflict, and advancing social justice for individuals and communities.
Code of Conduct
- CEOSS adheres to religious and human values that promote justice and peace; respect pluralism and diversity; and encourage ecological conservation.
- CEOSS works cooperatively and in partnership with national and local governmental agencies and with civil society institutions to best address the concerns and rights of society.
- CEOSS seeks transparency with partners and donor organizations.
- CEOSS encourages a culture in which freedom of expression and belief, democratic decision making, consensus-building, and gender equity are valued and practiced.
- CEOSS empowers and equips workers and leaders with practical, analytical, and creative skills that empower them to achieve their goals and objectives.
Areas of Intervention
- Poverty alleviation programs among local and impoverished groups
- Community rehabilitation programs for people with disabilities
- Enhancing quality of education and vocational training
- Environmental care and agricultural projects
- Curative and preventive health care programs
- Institutional capacity building for better performance
- Promotion of good governance and gender equality among public and civil society institutions
- Enhancing small and microenterprises among poor individuals and groups
- Increasing mutual acceptance, understanding and mutual respect among different groups of society
- Increasing understanding among policy makers, media representatives, governmental officials about the concerns of poor people
- Mobilizing communities towards regional peace building
- Encouraging advocacy and networking for peace building
- 1950: CEOSS was established and started implementing comprehensive programs that included literacy, leadership training, home economics, income-generating projects, and improving family relationships serving both Muslim & Christian communities
- 1960: Egyptian government officially recognized the program, and CEOSS came into being as a registered social services organization
- 1976: CEOSS bought a villa with surrounding land in Minya to become ITSA Center and over the years built many other facilities to become a well-known conference center
- 1980: CEOSS became a community development agency focusing on root causes of poverty and increasing community's potential towards self-reliance.
- 1992: CEOSS Established Forum of Intercultural Dialogue
- 1993: Addressing gender equity through involving men and women in changing their attitudes and behaviors. Subsequently gender equity became a crosscutting issue across all CEOSS' programs.
- 2000: A major program to target Community Based Organizations (CBOs) for internal capacity strengthening and improved capacity for implementing locally based development initiatives and advocacy campaigns was established. Also, CEOSS established SME Microloans–Individual and Group loans for the marginally and deeply poor individuals.
- 2002: CEOSS established Peace Building Program seeking to activate peace through skills which will contribute to reduce violence, create podiums to achieve peace, promote effective leadership.
- 2005: CEOSS shifted from a needs-based approach to a rights-based approach to development; the organization was re-organized to facilitate the shift through internal capacity building to empower staff to respond to the rights of individual citizens and to empower people to demand justice as a right.
- 2007: CEOSS Adopted Children at Risk Program targeting street children, working children and children with disabilities empowering and organizing them to advocate for their rights.
- 2010: Registration of 3 Farmers' Organizations as Farmers cooperatives as an example of the application of rights based approaches.
- 2012: CEOSS started adopting the Territorial Approach to Rural Development