Muscat: Hundreds of underprivileged families living on the outskirts of Muscat will be financially independent soon, according to voluntary a empowering plan called ‘Makken.’
The programme aims to provide more than 2,000 families in Al Amerat with a chance to start up their own businesses.
Austerity measures have left people short of funds and goodwill in a city that houses around 60,000 people, according to Sami Al Haj, head of the Volunteers’ Media Committee.
By November 2016, volunteers will officially launch the programme that seeks to change the life of hundreds of single mothers, orphans, and people living without social security.
“Makken’s target is to achieve total financial independence for these families by end-2017,” Al Haj stated.
The initiative will start with workshops that teach women and children how to make money from cooking, tailoring, handcrafting, gift wrapping, making perfumes and other skills.
“Makken will also appoint a number of photographers, makeup artists and designers to boost the skills of the less fortunate through training courses,” said Al Haj.
However, the new entrepreneurs will receive marketing lessons to make the best of their small businesses, according to Al Haj. “We will also allocate selling booths at shopping malls so that people can sell their handmade products to more consumers,” Al Haj explained, adding that women and children will work in a workshop in Al Amerat.
Muscat is home to 8,109 people in need of social security.
The capital received nearly OMR12,000,000 in social security funds in 2015, according to the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI). Al Haj said the response to the initiative has been “big” and many media influencers are willing to take part in it “free of charge.” In the long term, Makken plans to establish a civil institution to sponsor all the new entrepreneurs.
A woman with “limited income,” who recently joined the initiative said she is “very excited” to be self-employed and be able to support her family instead of relying on government funds. “I hope I can work from home so that I can take care of my children and learn new skills at the same time,” she said.