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His Majesty’s honouring of charities

Charities can create job opportunities for the unemployed and also achieve livelihood security
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On the third anniversary of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik’s accession to power on January 11, His Majesty issued Royal Orders providing financial support to charity teams operating within Social Development Committees in all the wilayats of Oman and honouring the volunteers. The Royal Orders also provide for extending financial support to charities assisting the Ministry of Social Development in recognition for their efforts and roles in serving the community.

This is undoubtedly a wise and important gesture that comes at a time when the whole world is grappling with financial woes. However, among our biggest difficulties with the voluntary work is the lack of centrality and strict oversight which caused it to be randomly distributed and afflicted with financial corruption and lack of clear vision.

I am well-aware, so are all of us, of the importance of charities and voluntary teams. Their honouring by His Majesty is nothing but a clear affirmation of their social and humanitarian role, yet at the same time I emphasise the importance of centrality through bypassing the ramification of the ministries to the authority system. Fewer of ministries is a healthy condition and the multiplicity of authorities with their few staff and clear goals is a healthy condition, too.

The purviews of the charities and voluntary teams are intertwined in many ministries that are teeming with bureaucracy. If not for their social partnership, charities would lose their credibility and might get corrupted. Even so, charities suffer from obvious mismanagement despite their undeniable social role.

Given the current stagnant economy, turning to charities and voluntary teams is a dire need as they can positively contribute to the circulation of money. Though, the present issue is more intricate than low salary or default on loan. Today’s issues are much more complicated than ever before from the sheer numbers of job-seekers to the laid-off employees due to economic conditions and unemployment resulting from the increasing number of graduates and limited job opportunities.

Hence, it is imperative that the cooperative aspect and the legal aspect should be intertwined as charities and voluntary organisations contribute to realising the cooperative aspect which, on turn, contribute to achieving the legal side in order not for charities to become another tool of hidden begging or negative employment of funds while those funds can be utilised, through charities, for generating hundreds of job opportunities by opening scores of stores, factories, etc. Thus charities can create job opportunities for the unemployed and also achieve livelihood security. The job-seekers might be asked to start up a small business that does not yield a satisfactory revenue at the beginning, but the charities could generate a monthly insurance in such cases thereby contributing to achieving social equality. Hence, charities and voluntary teams could serve as positive tools within the society by stimulating the market and boosting development and investments.

In addition, charities and voluntary teams could stir tourism, boost annual festivals and religious and national festivities through encouraging fledgling talents and individual innovations which need to be funded in order to see the light and be utilised and invested in the tourism industry. Thus, charities may invest money through creating jobs related to individual talents and innovations. Our tourism industry is allergic to partnership with talents and it tends to deal with the formal hierarchy.

Charities and voluntary teams could have a significant contribution to realising social equality which is why they need an incubator, an institution or authority to economically, socially and intellectually address their issues and to prevent them from getting diverted in a path that threatens the national security as it happened in some Arab countries and to prevent them from contributing to hidden begging through random distribution.

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