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A disabled Egyptian holds a wheelchair in a workshop that manufactures products for the poor disabled in Cairo, Egypt August 8, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany


CAIRO (Reuters) - An Egyptian development organisation that manufactures products for the disabled has opened a workshop in Cairo to make prosthetic limbs for the poor, staffed by workers with disabilities who could otherwise struggle to earn a wage.

The Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services aims to foster social and cultural development in Egypt and has been given $91,000 in funding by the Japanese government.

Its prosthetic limbs department, which has been operating for six months, aims to produce 200 limbs this year and increase output in future.

The workshop is part of a programme through which the organisation aims to help disabled people into work, enabling them to earn an income and contribute more to society, said Michael Saad, who supervises the programme.

"By using this programme, our main goal is to show that the disabled are proactive individuals in society, that the disabled are in need of some support in order for them to become proactive and productive," Saad added.

The organisation also has a factory that produces between 1,000 and 1,500 mobility devices such as wheelchairs and crutches each year. A mobile van service is used to deliver their products free of charge, and to provide routine maintenance for their users.

One worker said being employed at the workshop had renewed his self belief.

"Disability is psychological not physical," said Raouf Nady Helmy. "When you begin working on your career you will feel like you were dead and that you came back to life."

(Writing by Mark Hanrahan in London; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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