The Gad-el-Sid Social Center lies in an area where social problems abound.   Indeed the original "go-ahead" to open the Center was given on the condition that any expansion of the Jesuits' activities be in favour of the Poor.   In the early 1980's, young people from the Center were so impressed by the energy of Br. Chamaoun s.j. in visiting so many poor families in the area and helping out spiritually and materially as best he could, that they decided to set up a "Social Family" team.   They proposed to be on the look-out for cases of poverty, illness, unemployment and many other problem situations in the area and help Br. Chamaoun s.j. in providing for them.   That first attempt did not last long, but the intuition was worth reviewing.   Consequently we revived the idea in 1998 and immediatly started setting up the framework for a Social Office at the Center.   We agreed on the following orientations and policy for the Center's work and services henceforth:

*    The Center will specifically concentrate its efforts on the Gad-el-Sid area (i.e. the southers quarter of Minia City) in preference to other areas further away or 'less deserving'.
*    The Center will give special preference to the more needy, beginning with the poorest or most marginalized.
*    The Center's projects and activities will be chosen or retained in function of the specific needs of the Gad-el-Sid area.
*    The "Social Office" will be the inspiration and ultimate reference in determining all the Center's other activities and services.
    Naturally we also determined what would be the role of the Social Office staff:
*    Keeping files and records of  all activity at the center and  of all those who were benefitting from them, and making the necessary reports.   ( This 'obvious' proceedure is practically unkown in many local services. )
*    Going on family visits, trying to gain first hand information about the needs of the people we wish to serve.
*    Discovering the families with the most urgent needs, making known to them the Center's services and convincing them to make use of these services.   ( Most of the families in this category assume that they are excluded from any services available because of what they would have to pay. )
*    Discovering the nature of their needs, whether economic, cultural, medical or whatever, and offering tangible solutions.   ( We are not merely trying to 'know' about people, but to 'help' them concretely according to our limited resources. )
*    Making suggestions and generally helping the Center choose its priorites in favour of the most needy.   ( Both in choice of projects and in acceptance of participants. )
*    Creating a social concsiousness and a sense of solidarity among the Center's patrons and elsewhere, and especially among the young.
*    Creating a network of friends and benefactors, whether persons or organizations, who might lend their help in specific services.
*    Constantly evaluate past action and coming up with new ideas for improvement in our services.   ( Not go 'by the book' but by an acquired sense of intuition of what is really needed. )
    No doubt, more priorities will emerge in future as we gain more and more experience.

    Inspite of lack of space and other material means, the Social Office is doing sterling work and is constantly widening its activity and its circle of friends.

    Like any other enterprise, this Social Office needs funds for salaries, administration and other running costs and, of course, for helping people.   The Center therefore depends heavily both spiritually and materially on the Jesuit Community's support, on material help from benefactors and on Volontary and free services.   We are ready to go as far as our means permit.

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