Doing charity is a responsibility that has been treasured by Omani culture for many years, making it a priority to help one another live a better life. In recent years, charity groups have grown in number to cover all parts of Oman, including in Al Dhahirah, where Sarb Al Atta is at the top of its game in making life easier for its community. Sarb Al Atta was the first all-female voluntary team to be created in the governorate, established in July of 2011 by Suad Abdullah Al Alawiya in the Wilayat of Yanqul. Today, the group has over 130 members, including young men, and works under the Commission for Social Development.
The group aims to work efficiently to cover the needs of families with low income, orphans, and the elderly, as well as to strive to make their community free of any need. Their slogan is to draw a smile on the faces of all those who lost it. “Volunteering in our society gives us an opportunity to learn about the needs and problems of society and helps us solve them,” said Suad, adding that, “It gives us confidence in ourselves and ways to invests in our free time.”
Some of the activities that the group carries out include a supply of food during Ramadan, Eid shopping, back-to-school shopping, funding families, orphans, elderly, and disabled folks; renovating and furnishing the homes of eligible families; trips to Mecca for pilgrimage, hospital visits, cleaning mosques; and offering educational lectures on volunteering.
Sarb Al Atta also has a voluntary group for children, which encourages children to volunteer and teaches them the importance to help others from an early age.
Every job has to be accompanied by some difficulties, and this group is no different. Initially, the difficulty that Suad faced was that the group was an all-female group. There are some activities, such as the process of loading and distributing the aid, which require the opposite sex as it is difficult for women to do it alone.
Another challenge was to prove to society that women can do the job regardless. “Society always sees that women cannot accomplish the job without men, thanks to God, we relied on ourselves for five years. “Now, due to the increase in number of projects, as well as numbers of needy families, we added a few men to help us and participate in serving our wilayat,” said Suad.
The team has achieved a number of great things, which includes transforming large numbers of poor and low-income families into productive families that have projects and are self-reliant, and capable of assisting their families and their needs.
As for the future, the team is working on developing strategies to transform more families into happy ones with homes, and helping them establish projects and SMEs, without the need of charity and other people.
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