YERU EBUEN –
They were all dressed impeccably — the boys in their pristine white dishdashas and the ladies in their traditional Omani dresses. They took the stage with full confidence, trying to remember all the steps that were taught to them.
Getting them on stage wasn’t easy. The almost 20 boys and girls are all persons with disability and although the two-minute presentation may seem easy for the abled ones, it’s a different story for them. The presentation was a way for them to point out what they can do — showcasing the potential of what they could become with the proper help and guidance.
The Al Wafa Centre in Amerat is just one of the almost dozen of organisations that get the support of telecommunications giant Ooredoo. On the early morning of Sunday this week, around 10 cars carrying more than 50 volunteers — both employees of the company and external help — drove towards the centre to open their project to provide recipients with full equipment for a computer lab, scenery room and to build them a carpentry room.
Under the patronage of the Minister of Social Development, the company also signed an agreement to provide three more sensory rooms for three different Wafa centres.
It was the first stop of a full day affair. Later on that same day, the team moved to Rustaq to open the first incubator for this year — the 14th overall — for the Oman Women Association where members were trained on various skills — from art to handicraft making, to soap making, sewing and other things.
The volunteer team in the presence of the supporting ministry officials and some company executives witnessed the graduation of 36 women and 26 trainers — all now equipped with key skills to start their own business.
Over the course of the next two weeks, the caravan will visit 11 regions in the Sultanate bringing much-needed help and support not only to PWDs but kids and women who are facing some societal and financial challenges.
As one of the pillars of Islam, charity is a must not only for individuals but companies all over the Sultanate during the holy month. And it is in this spirit that drives volunteerism, social responsibility and charity to ambitious heights.
Ayesha al Shoily, the project leader for the 15th Goodwill Journey, shared that they focused both on digital enablement, education and training for women and also providing much-needed donations and support to communities countrywide. This includes helping those with disabilities and special needs and community projects.
“The goodwill tour has two phases — Phase 1 covers areas close to Muscat and Phase 2 brings our goodwill efforts all the way to Salalah. Overall, we will be covering 11 areas,” she said.
Having impacted the lives of over 140,000 all over Oman in the course of the last 15 years, Ayesha added, “We are trying to deliver as many initiatives as we can and diversifying our programmes which look into sustainability and long term help. For our women incubators, we not only help them through mentorship and training, but we also look into making sure that they get started with their business.”
“We have an intense schedule with two activities per day. Factoring in the fact that everyone is fasting, doing the intense programmes and activities can be challenging but to most of the volunteers it is something that we have to do,” she shared.
The joy that their charity efforts were doing can be seen on the faces of their beneficiaries.
Back in Al Wafa Centre in Amerat, a short video clip demonstrated how big of help the computer and carpentry equipment were to the PWDs. The new equipment installed in the different rooms of the centre were integral and exciting additions that allow the beneficiaries to learn faster and in a more efficient manner.
There are hundreds of different charity efforts being done all over the country during this special 30 days. Whether it’s done individually or through companies like the one being arranged by Ooredoo, Ramadhan greatly reminds that those who give are still the most fortunate.