28 Feb 2017
El Cairo, Egypt
Resource efficiency and sustainable waste management

Egypt is known worldwide for its fine artisan products and its homemade and handcrafted treasures.

However, in a world of mass-production, there is price race to the bottom, putting many traditional craftsmen and women out of work. With them, many of the traditional skills are in danger of disappearing and being lost to future generations.

 

In an attempt to protect disappearing traditional Egyptian crafts, Rania, an enthusiastic Egyptian entrepreneur, had the idea to manufacture lovely handmade objects inspired by the legacy of her country. Rania took up the challenge to ensure that crafts continue to be produced within their communities while providing livelihoods to their makers and reflecting the art and creativity of their people. GebRaa was her sustainable solution for crafts and for the community.

 

GebRaa is a multi award winning cultural, social and environmental impactful project. It is the first and the only enterprise in Egypt to receive the SEED Award for environmental entrepreneurs (by UNDP, UNEP and IUCN) and also the winner of World Bank Development Marketplace award and fellows of Synergos through Pioneers of Egypt award.

This eco-friendly social project has always been dedicated to make sure that all of its products are made out of natural local materials, GebRaa is also the first producer to use palm tree wood (which is exclusively produced in Egypt), as well as recycled glass, textile waste and wood waste.

Towards reviving a legacy! | The Switchers
Towards reviving a legacy! | The Switchers

The wide range of GebRaa’s products includes timeless tables, brightly decorated jewelry boxes, wooden trays and frames which are all locally made to create a living work of art for homes, the feminine touch is quite noticeable too in the fantasia clutches and the beautifully designed cosmetic bags as well as the colorful ethnic shawls, all delicately created by members of women’s organizations in Giza, Cairo, Suhag and South and North Sinai.

The project also offers trainings and apprenticeships at master artisans workshops, allowing them to learn from each other, and connecting them to other entities that can improve their working conditions.

“We have established our developmental arm foundation called Karama to rechannel parts of our profit for community development projects at the artisans community”


Rania Salah Seddik
Towards reviving a legacy! | The Switchers

Today, there is an increasing demand on artisanal work which will lead to increasing the income and the social image of artisans and eventually encourage new ones to join the trainings and the apprenticeships that GebRaa provides.

A dedicated community of artisans living all across the country, either in rural areas, mountain areas or in Cairo old districts are playing their part to protect traditions from fading away into oblivion thanks to GebRaa.

In addition to aiming to alleviate the existing poverty level, GebRaa was able to develop and modernize the arts and crafts which are representatives of the culture and existence of their communities, but most importantly, it helped to encourage craft entrepreneurship.

 

Gebraa Resource efficiency
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