Muscat: An Omani man is appealing for clothing to take to a Kenyan orphanage in time for Eid.
Mohamed Al Touqi, 30, is the head of International Volunteering, a non-government organisation (NGO), which was established to promote young Omanis looking to volunteer abroad.
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"Our main goal is to give opportunities to Omanis to participate in volunteering abroad as it is not very popular in our society," Al Touqi said.
"I have been planning for this since last year. The idea was that I would spend the first day of Eid with the orphans, to be with them and to help make them happy. I believe that that is what Islam teaches."
A small house with two bedrooms, the orphanage in Kenya accommodates 80 children, aged between five and 20.
The organisation's first priority was to raise funds to help the orphans. The food logistics was their second priority, with his colleagues in Kenya being in the best position to oversee it. The third goal was to collect clothing for the children.
After this trip, International Volunteering will be planning an open "volunteering trip to raise awareness regarding the importance of volunteering."
Al Touqi, who is also a senior instructor with Outward Bound Oman, added: "I started in 2012, but being a volunteer was not a simple journey. My family expected me to work in a bank or oil company, but my mother has always been there to support me, and I stuck to what I believed in and followed my own way."
International Volunteers aims to inspire Omani youth to volunteer in order to reach out to impoverished people around the world and was formed in 2012. It is registered under the social entrepreneurship development programme of Knowledge Oman. Sayyida Basma Al Said is the official patron for International Volunteers.
"International Volunteers offer programmes for Omanis, who either have or are about to graduate, or are unemployed to give them an opportunity to use their skills and learn new ones; this also helps them boost their careers," Al Touqi explained.
Al Touqi's colleague in Kenya first scouted for an orphanage. "I asked her to give me all the names, to supervise the orphanage, and once she confirmed everything and ensured that everything was legitimate, she told me about the living conditions."
The final day for collection will be on June 24. If you would like to donate, please call +96898517517.