The Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services (CEOSS) is an Egyptian development organization headquartered in Cairo, Egypt and is dedicated to community and economic development, health care and education, individual well-being, social justice and inter-cultural dialogue. CEOSS reaches more than 2 million Egyptians annually in more than 100 rural and urban communities. It offers its services regardless of gender, race, or religious beliefs. As a Christian voice promoting pluralism and mutual respect in the 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 toward common goals.
CEOSS has focused on literacy education since its beginnings as fundamental to the development of an individual and to enhance the community’s ability to develop its capabilities. With this focus on education, CEOSS began to establish classes to address illiteracy in communities throughout Egypt. Most recently in 2014, CEOSS joined with 50 community-based organizations and businesses to launch the “Education is Power” initiative. This initiative aims to educate and improve the educational status of 50,000 individuals in five urban areas through supporting local literacy programs.
As the literacy program of CEOSS continues to grow and expand, CEOSS now offers additional educational services. To increase opportunities for youth education, CEOSS works with recent school dropouts towards re-enrollment in schools. CEOSS also seeks to increase formal education standards, and provides trainings for teachers to strengthen the connections between the school and the community.
This expansion of services also includes two additional areas to accompany the adult literacy programs. One course that has been added is the women empowerment program, which is an intensive effort to equip women in claiming and realizing their civil rights and to enable women to participate in decision-making processes at the various levels of society. In addition, courses on civic education are offered to men and women, which aim to introduce values of citizenship based on civil and political rights, and the consolidation of citizenship and human rights.