MCC supports Egyptian churches' life and witness as they work to improve the lives of their communities. MCC works with institutions of the Coptic Orthodox church, an ancient church that has coexisted with Muslims ever since Islam arrived in Egypt more than 1,300 years ago, and with the Coptic Evangelical church, which dates to the late 19th century. MCC workers serve as educators in various diocesan adult evening programs and do teacher training in church schools. Other areas of MCC's work in Egypt include conflict management training for congregational leaders.
MCC promotes friendship and understanding between Canada and Iran and between the United States and Iran. MCC has partnered with the Iranian Red Crescent Society on disaster and refugee relief since 1990. MCC supports exchanges of professors and students between Mennonite and Iranian universities. Conferences in Toronto and Qom, as well as learning tours, have brought together Mennonite Christian and Shiite Muslim scholars to discuss topics including the role of religion in peace-building.
Since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, MCC has worked through Iraqi partners to provide relief supplies to some of the more than 2 million people that have fled home for safer locations within Iraq. Tens of thousands of MCC blankets, relief kits and school kits have reached families across Iraq. MCC has also supported projects to provide clean water to villages in northern Iraq and outside Baghdad, to develop peace programs for school-aged children and to send Iraqis to Eastern Mennonite University’s Summer Peacebuilding Institute in Harrisonburg, Va. Through Global Family, MCC provides support for an orphanage and two kindergartens in northern Iraq.
MCC works with Roman Catholic and Anglican dioceses in Jordan to provide relief such as milk powder to low-income Jordanians and refugees from countries including Iraq. With Global Family sponsorships, MCC supports a deaf-blind unit at the Holy Land Institute for the Deaf, a girls' school in the northern Jordanian village of Adassiyeh and a Catholic school in Wahadneh. MCC also uses Global Family sponsorships to provide scholarships to university students from low-income families. Peace is a major emphasis, with MCC regularly sponsoring workshops on peace-building for Jordanians and an East-West dialogue between young adults from the Middle East and from Canada and the U.S.
MCC’s work in Lebanon focuses on peace, interfaith dialogue and education, including outreaches to Palestinian and Sudanese refugees. MCC supports workshops on peacemaking and conflict resolution in universities and other institutions. With Global Family sponsorships, MCC supports schools for disabled children and provides vocational training opportunities. MCC also provides funding for rehabilitative services for children and adults injured by cluster bombs leftover from a summer 2006 war in south Lebanon between Israel and Hezbollah.
MCC, which has worked in this region since 1949, supports a wide variety of Palestinian and Israeli peace-building initiatives. These include conflict resolution among Palestinians, education among Israelis on injustices to Palestinians and dialog between Palestinians and Israelis. MCC supports agricultural research and development in the Bethlehem area with funds from the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and supports the improvement of wells and water pipes in the northern West Bank. With Global Family sponsorships, MCC supports a school in Zababdeh and a children's center in Khan Younis, Gaza.
Working through local partners, MCC’s Global Family education sponsorships support quality, community-based education in Syria. These sponsorships give more children and youth opportunities for holistic development (academic, physical, spiritual, social, emotional), strengthen the ability of local schools and organizations to provide educational opportunities for children and youth and equip children and youth to be leaders in building healthier and more peaceful schools within their communities.
Relationships are central to MCC’s work in Syria. Since the late 1980s, MCC has accompanied local partners as they strive to act sustainably, build just economic relationships, connect people, dismantle oppression to realize participation, practice nonviolence and seek a just peace. Over the years, MCC’s support has included the placement of service workers, moral, technical and financial support and Global Family education sponsorships.