The idea of founding the St Kyrel Trust arose in 1993 when one of the trustees was on a visit to Egypt. He was deeply touched by the extreme difficulties and hardships that poor university students have to face. It was inconceivable to him that teenagers might go for days without having a single healthy meal or even being able to change their clothes.
In Egypt, students are sponsored neither by the government nor by any other organisation. They rely totally on their parents, who may have to look after four children or more. If the family income is limited, which is usually the case, that will have its inevitable sad impact on university students. Even the bright and hard working, due to the continuous deprivation may be forced to leave their studies and join any unskilled work in order to earn a living.
On his return to England he discussed the issue with a close friend and decided to establish a charitable trust through which they could reach out widely to as many such needy students as possible. In 1995, the Saint Kyrel Trust was officially established as a registered charity in England, number 1055608. The trust is named after its patron, Saint Kyrel, the previous patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
The main objectives of the trust is to supply the poor Coptic students in Egypt with their basic everyday financial necessities. Each of the students receives a monthly grant just enough to cover: food, clothing, transport, books and stationary, shelter, and pocket money.
We also aim to build up mature independent personalities. The students who receive help become financially independent from their families. This alleviates part of the burden of the poor family. The student in turn, and in appreciation of the continuous support of the trust, do work hard and prove worth helping.