The Garbage Village used to be a slum where people lived in tin shacks, without modern amenities, such as running water or sewage systems. Each family would collect garbage from apartments all across Cairo. They would take this garbage back to their homes and recycle through it. Their homes were in close quarters to the garbage and their livestock.
The ministry began with Brother Farahat (now Father Samaan) in 1973. With his help in Spiritual and emotional care, it changed the hearts of the people in this community. They gradually realized they needed to take care of their personal hygiene and health, as well as their surroundings.
The Mokattam Village is now a thriving and better village, and is better developed and equipped with essential services and systems like running water and sewage systems. The people live above their animals and the garbage they so skillfully recycle. The area has also gained status internationally because of the Cave Churches in the St. Samaan Monastery, which belongs to the Garbage Village. Each week hundreds of people from all over Egypt visit the Monastery, attending meetings and benefiting from the beautiful and artistic retreat center there.