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SETI: Quality of life for persons with disability

Support, Education and Training for Inclusion (SETI) of persons with disabilities and their families

Of the more than ten million persons with disability in Egypt, only two percent have access to some kind of service. The remaining 98% are deprived of educational, recreational and rehabilitative programs of any sort, causing problems to millions of families. Traditional solutions like trained manpower and new centers cannot alone face the extent of the problem on a national level. Even a tenfold expansion of available resources would not be sufficient to reach all those in need.   

A family and community-oriented inclusive approach 

To address this pressing need, SETI Center established by Caritas Egypt in 1986 and adopted a family and community-oriented inclusive approach. We consider family and community members to be the main components of the rehabilitation and inclusion process for persons with disability.  

Our mission is to provide adequate services to persons with disability and their families. We focus on intellectual and related disabilities (autism, cerebral palsy, etc.) in particular amongst the poor and most marginalized. We support their inclusion in their communities through mobilization of family and community resources in view of the scarcity of suitable services.  

 Support, Education and Training for Inclusion (SETI)

 Caritas Egypt SETI Center offers: 

  • Direct services to persons with disabilities from birth (early intervention) till adulthood (employment) 
  • Services for parents of persons with disabilities: guidance and counselling, training to participate effectively in the intervention program of their children 
  • Empowerment of families: formation of family support groups, empowerment to advocate for the rights of their children, formation of sibling support groups  
  • Vocational rehabilitation and employment of youth with disabilities in the open market 
  • Training of professionals (i.e. educators, teachers, social workers, doctors, nurses) to improve their intervention with persons with disabilities 
  • Support governmental and non-governmental entities to provide inclusive services: inclusive education, inclusive employment, inclusive recreation 
  • Raising awareness of various sectors of society (i.e. media, social workers, doctors, nurses, religious leaders, school and university students) and communities in general to adopt a right-based approach  
  • Developing and spreading low cost models of service delivery with wide coverage  
  • Devising low cost educational material and adapted equipment for the benefit of families with limited financial means 
  • Audio visual awareness raising and educational material in Arabic language targeting various sectors of society: flyers, posters, pamphlets, posters, booklets, videos…


  • Awareness & Training 
  • Family Rehabilitation and Empowerment 
  • Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment  
  • Community Based Rehabilitation 
  • Inclusive Education  
  • Resources and Documentation 

 Facts & figures 


 Around 2,500 persons benefit annually, among whom: 

  • 1,000 children and youth with disabilities and their families from all governorates of Egypt, all religious backgrounds and various socio-economic levels  
  • 600 persons trained to work in the field of special needs 
  • 1,000 persons participating in community awareness programs  


  • Cairo: Daher, Shoubra, Omraneya 
  • Alexandria: Glym, Eqbal 
  • Sohag 
  • Various governorates in the Nile Delta, coastal regions and Upper Egypt 
  • Arab region 

 Projects’ partners over the past years: 

  • Caritas Germany, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation (BMZ), European Union, Associazione Italiana Amici di Raoul Follerau (AIFO), French Cooperation Service, Save the Children, USAID, PLAN International, Association des Amis de Soeur Emmanuelle (ASMAE), Caritas France (Secours Catholique), Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Italian Cooperation, World Bank, German Corporation for Internationl Cooperation (GIZ) 
  • National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, UNESCO, Sawiris Foundation, Mobinil/Orange, Microsoft 


  • Early Intervention Services are being created in governmental hospitals, Mother and Child Health Units and Community Development Associations, serving thousands of new-born and children till age 4. 
  • Family Rehabilitation programs are spreading and targets hundreds of families with children with disabilities 
  • Community based rehabilitation services cover districts in Cairo, Guiza, Alexandria, Sharkia, Assiout, Sohag, Aswan, Qena and serve thousands of families 
  • Services initiated and run by families are spreading in poor districts and other governorates (i.e. Imbaba. Khanka, Marg, Zagazig, Minia) 
  • More than 1,100 children with disabilities are now included in over 90 regular schools due to SETI’s efforts. 
  • Over 10 parents support groups are being formed and trained to advocate for the rights of the children and to support other families in several governorates  
  • More than a hundred audio-visual publications are issued and used in various contexts and communities 
  • In 2017, SETI was granted an international award, Zero Project Award of Best Practice in the field of Rehabilitation and Employment of youth with disabilities in recognition of its efforts for the past decades. SETI’s program was selected as one of 56 innovative world practices in the field of employment of persons with disabilities by Essl Foundation, World Future Foundation and European Council.  


Madeleine Azmy MD, Ph.D.
M.S. Community Disability Studies UCL, England
Humphrey fellow, Tulane University for Public health, U.S.A  
T: (+2022590-5148
F: (+202) 2590-3138
E: seti@seti-caritas-egypt.org