In kitchens around Egypt, you may come across a new sealed package filled with sun-dried tomatoes, with a label reading ‘Di Hekaya’ on the front. What may not be immediately apparent is that ‘Di Hekaya’ is actually part of a wider project to empower the women of Luxor by NGO Care Egypt. In 2020, CARE Egypt handed about 400 women in Luxor a lifeline to help them become economically independent, by helping them learn how to craft homemade sun-dried tomatoes on their own rooftops.

“We started training women in Luxor on the production process of sun-dried tomatoes,” Amira Eid, communications advisor at CARE Egypt, tells SceneEats. “They mostly were unemployed housewives and the project provided them with a skill and a stable source of income.”

Funded by Drosos Foundation, the initiative hopes to create a self-sustaining process, in which the sales of their newly-launched product funds upcoming production cycles and allow women to break free of poverty. “Some of these women were university students or fresh graduates who worked with us part-time,” adds Eid.

The tomatoes are available for purchase through CARE Egypt, where they’re ready for individual and batch orders. The revenues will all go towards the women who grew them.