Roota is a non-profit organization founded in Canada by Nevine Yassa and friends.   Their mission is to raise the social, educational, economical and health standards of marginalized groups in Egypt.  Their present focus is on the Zabaleen of the Mokattam Mountain in Cairo.
They are volunteers working with an Egyptian NGO called APE (Association of the Protection of Environment) who know the needy on site, disperse the looms as they deem fit, and use Roota monies for schools.  APE is looking at the increase in population and hence, are in dire need of new schools for tutoring, and pre-school. 
Roota’s role here in Canada is to increase awareness about a marginalized community in Egypt called the Zabaleen.  They do this by procuring funding, which in turn, goes to APE.  The Rotary Club of Scarborough has provided four of the all-critical Weaving Looms, which provide the ladies with a purpose, and in turn, the monies to feed family, and generally improve their lives and health.
The word “Zabaleen” is an Egyptian word which means “garbage collectors”. The Zabaleen have been Cairo’s informal garbage collectors since the 1940’s and number between 50,000 to 70,000.  The Zabaleen transport the garbage to their homes in Mokattam, sort the garbage, and sell it to a middleman or create new products from the recycled garbage. These are a hardworking and self-sustaining people offering informal and yet organized service throughout the city. Garbage is an asset to them. This is their daily life.
The Zabaleen recycle up to 80 percent of the waste that they collect, soliciting the help of goats and pigs to consume much of the organic waste. The Zabaleen have recently been recognized by the government as an integral part of Egyptian society.
Current Status:
·         Women are exercising their rights, participate openly, express themselves freely, and are covered by social insurance.
·         Recreational Programs: exposure and mobility outside the community, skills training, sense of ownership and responsibility enable girls and women living in marginalized communities to make informed decisions that affect their lives and the lives of their families.
·         To date more than 80% of women living in one of the most marginalized communities in Cairo have been directly or indirectly reached by APE’s programs.
What are their products ?  Greeting Cards, small framed pictures, quilts, hand bags, blankets, and woven rugs.
Where can these products be purchased ?
·         Sun, Oct 29, 2017:   Fair Trade Peoples Church, Toronto
·         Sun, Nov 12, 2017: “Just Christmas” at Forest View Church, Oakville
·         Sat, Nov 18, 2017:  “Holly Berry Bazaar” at St. Dunstan of Canterbury Anglican Church, Toronto
·         Sun, Nov 26, 2017: “Fair Trade”, Saint George United Church - Oakville  
·         December – date tbd, at Saint Maurice & Saint Verena Coptic Orthodox - Richmond Hill
·         May 10-13, 2018:   “Fair Trade” - Exhibition Centre
Sample pictures of their products, and the Roota objectives can be viewed on the Roota website: .