Monday, March 07, 2005

Charities and charitable giving in Oman (Part I)

I am a strong believer in corporate citizenship. I also believe in charitable work. I try to do what I can and give to causes whenever the opportunity arises when I can afford it. It bugs me that I don't think enough is being done to encourage the spirit of philanthropy in this country.

I understand that purchasing power is low in Oman, and most families have very little disposable income. They need most of what they make just to get by. A very low percentage of the population can afford to help charities financially. If they want they can support by donating either their time and effort, or by donating their used household items and clothing. But even in this aspect, we are still lacking. Most charities complain about a lack of volunteers, which is quite perplexing given the tens of thousands of unemployed high school graduates who are just sitting at home complaining that they can't find jobs. I wish someone would start a volunteer programs for highschool leavers where they can be sent around the country, or even abroad, to help out where needed- sort of like a peace corp but not entirely. 

After December's tsunami the Oman Charitable Organization asked people to donate clothing for tsunami survivors. They received thousands of bags of used clothing which was usually unsorted, dirty, unwashed, and quite frequently unwearable. It was like people just brought large garbage bags and filled them with all the clothes they didn't want at home. The charity had to spend most of its time sorting through the clothing and throwing away the items which can't be accepted. Can you believe some people even included their used underwear with the clothes that they donated? Just because a person lost everything he owned in a tsunami, doesn't mean that he lost his dignity too. Tsunami or no tsunami, no one wants your used underwear.

10 comments:

Wardat_il'7leej said...

What people usually do when asked to donate to any charity or cause is that they rummage through their old cloths closet or space and simply loads bag after bags with old, dirty and excessively used cloths. They don’t feel the need to divide their cloths since its all for the better cause of donation and helping other with a excuse to buy new cloths for themselves.

Kazablanka said...

You know what the main problem is, its that we always rely on others to do things like this, helping the poor, volunteer work etc. when Its really every persons responsibility. Volunteer work is something really rare here in the arab world. Some people wont 'lower' themselves (as they would put it) to help out here and there. Or some might say, why should i work if im not gonna get paid??

some people just dont have hearts, really =(

Just the thought of how some people arent able to buy food kills cuz its like why can i have like 6 meals a day when others are dying of hunger!! *insert sad face*

@ the underwear part. That is so sad! I remember when when me and my mom were sorting out the things to donate to the tsunami survivors, I was like taking out all the stuff that are still in good condition but i dont want anymore..my mom was telling me that the whole point of donating is to give away stuff that mean something to you, not old stuff u dont need/want anymore.

My dad always says that the people that need the most attention are the ones that lack it. Most people, organizations, whateverations focus on the 'normal' people, like you and me, and what i mean by focusing is that they open schools, centers, etc.. when really the two types of people that are need the attention are the disabled/handicaped and the talented people.

Blue Chi said...

I come from Sohar, the only individual that I personally saw organising the collection of clothes to the victims of the tsunami was a maid of some house that went to all the neighbours houses asking the wives to give away their old clothes and stuff. She was probably from some of the unfortunate countries, but it is still amazing, that she was doing it all on her own.

Najah said...

Its more of an Arab world than it is an omani issue. I was asked to watch a profram Al-Jazeera aired few months ago but i wasn't able to watch it since i didnt have the access to an Arabic satalite (they recorded it for me, hamdillah) but ya back to the point it is Arabic more than it is Omanic to be honest.

illogicist said...

Both to blame. Charities dont market themselves well, and are very much invisible. Second, when it comes to high school students, the mentality here is very different from, say the UK. In the UK, everyone gets a summer job, and not just for salary, but experience. Here (back home I should say) its like 'buggered if Im going to work...and with no pay? YEAH RIGHT!'

Anonymous said...

Z,

" everyone gets a summer job" in the UK?

YEAH, RIGHT!

Sagar Hussain said...

Salaam to all here. This is an Indian employed with HSBC Bank. There is a huge need of such organisation to uplift the Indian Muslim Minority. We are laging behind due to negligence and least hope for the Job security. This country holds the 2nd largest Muslim population in the world. Muslim world needs to pay more attention on this.... Hence advice me some organisation who funds for for the good deeds

Sagar Hussain said...

Salaam to all here. This is an Indian Muslim employed with HSBC Bank. There is a huge need of such organization to uplift the Indian Muslim Minority. We are lagging behind due to negligence and least hope for the Job security. This country holds the 2nd largest Muslim population in the world. Muslim world needs to pay more attention on this.... Hence advice me some organization who funds for the good deeds

Sagar Hussain said...

Salaam to all here. This is an Indian Muslim employed with HSBC Bank. There is a huge need of such organization to uplift the Indian Muslim Minority. We are lagging behind due to negligence and least hope for the Job security. This country holds the 2nd largest Muslim population in the world. Muslim world needs to pay more attention on this.... Hence advice me some organization who funds for the good deeds

Shabazz said...

Ssalaam Aleikum my Brothers & Sisters.
I am writing this letter on behalf of Muteekaanya Charity Organization.
The economic conditions of this country are not hidden from you. About 80% of muslim families are suffering from poor sanitation. This predicament leads to several life-threatening diseases like cholera.
To help muslim families to build the proper sanitation system is the aim of our organization. We not only provide financial support but also technical assistance to the villages whose residents are mostly poor and can't build their own sanitation systems.
Though we have a 100-strong staff we are always in need of more people so that we can step up our efforts. This year we plan to add at least 25 more paid members to our organization. Each member will be paid about $800.00 per month and if we add the salaries of all the new members we are planning to hire this year, it comes to $20,000.00.
It is said that residents of your community are not only the wealthiest but also one of the most generous. Would you please send us your contribution to Standard Chartered Bank, New York, SWIFT: SCBLUS33, Account #3582023289001, Remit to : Bank of Baroda (U) Ltd, Kampala, Uganda; SWIFT BARBUGKA, for final credit to Beneficiary Account # 95070100001006, Name: Shabazz Muteekaanya. Each and every penny that you pay will contribute towards better health of the citizens of this country.
Sincerely,
Shabazz Muteekaanya