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NGOs & Knick-Knacks: The Udder Side of Egyptian Gift Shop Cow

Cow's unsung accomplishments are sure to amoose you.

Cow Cairo

You know that quirky shop with all those knick-knacks and bright lights? The one that looks like some kind of magic emporium? Yeah, you know – it  has 'Cow' in show lights above its door? It’s hard to miss considering its mesmerising set-up and you can’t help but turn into a moth going towards the light. Their ever-changing window displays have had everything from fresh produce to a live clown – yes, this isn’t your run-of-the-mill gift shop. Like the store’s contents, however, there’s more to Cow’s operations than meets they eye.

You see, with 60% of their products being Egyptian-made and 10% being fair trade, every purchase you make from one of Cow's five branches in Nasr City, Maadi, New Cairo, Mohandseen, and Zamalek helps support the communities from where these products came from, which in turn supports disenfranchised and underprivileged segments of Egyptian society.

This concerted effort falls under mother company Cow Trading’s CSR arm, Zayee Zayak, which also aims to support Egyptians living with disabilities, specialising in working with children with Down Syndrome, and directly supporting over 800 Egyptian families.

So impactful has Zayee Zayak been, that the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has officially recognised Cow as one of the most inclusive companies in Egypt for persons with disabilities, with 13% of their workforce considered disabled.

It's an impressive feat considering that, although there are approximately 10 million people with disabilities in Egypt, only 2 percent have access to any kind of inclusive services, according to Caritas Egypt. The other 98 per cent are deprived of educational, recreational and rehabilitative programs, which is why it’s crucial for local companies to take up the responsibility of making room for everyone.

It speaks highly of a company that continues to grow in nontraditional ways – they even have a creative firm under the umbrella, Wolf and Co., which offers a range of services including event décor, art installations and corporate gifts (see above).

In the world of retail where profit is more often than not the be-all and end-all, brands are more in the habit of receiving than giving. Most brands just focus on keeping afloat, as is their right to prioritise as such. Cow not only breaks convention with its spectacular displays and one-of-a-kind products, but also with its involvement in the community - something that more brands and companies should follow.

The content of this article is sponsored.

Todays Events
'Tanagra'  @ Art Corner  Zamalek
Date: 3/25/2019
Time: 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Venue: Art Corner Gallery