Charity donations 50 per cent up — but we need more

Energy Monday 21/May/2018 21:06 PM
By: Times News Service
Charity donations 50 per cent up — but we need more

Muscat: Donations to charities in Oman have increased by 50 per cent in a single year but Good Samaritans say more people need help.
Oman’s official donation portal,, revealed that from January 1 to May 20, 2018, donations amounted to OMR214,024, a 45.5 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2017, which saw OMR147,382 donations.
However, charities and social organisations say that as the country’s population expands, there are more people who require help. The increase in donations is aiding those who need it the most. Myssa Al Hinai, Marketing Director of Dar Al Atta’a, said, “There is an increase in donations because more people are becoming aware of the importance of donating, and helping others.”
May saw the highest donation with OMR53,151.48, followed by January with OMR44,470.81. The lowest was in March with OMR36,541.38.
“It is only natural Ramadan is the month that sees the highest donations; many people prefer to donate during the Holy Month,” added Al Hinai.
The rise in donations has been accompanied by an increase in the number of donors; during the first five months of this year, 8,870 people donated to various charities, compared to 6,485 during the same period last year.
Despite the increase in donations, charities have seen a rise in the number of people in need. “More people are donating, but we are seeing an increase in the number of families that need aid,” said Al Hinai.
Dar Al Atta’a, and the Al Rahma Charity remain the top charities in terms of both the amount of money raised and the people’s choice. Sabah Al Bahlani from the Association for Early Intervention for Children with Special Needs said, “During Ramadan, the majority of donations go to people who are poor, rather than centres that deal with children with disabilities.”
Many NGOs rely solely on donations; therefore, ensuring they receive regular donations is very important to their cause.
“We as an NGO can only help people based on the donations that we receive, we cannot go beyond that. We have gotten to a point now where we are forced to send people away because we cannot afford to have a large number of people working for us,” said Al Bahlani.
“NGOs that deal with disabilities are not receiving enough funds. Many people do not realise that parents of children with disabilities have to spend a lot of money on their children’s therapeutic services, which impact the whole family.”
However, Al Bahlani said she hoped for more funds to pour in during Ramadan. “We hope that the generosity of donators will reach families and children with disabilities to alleviate their suffering.”
Donating throughout the year can be just as important as donating during Ramadan.
“We hope that people do not limit donations to Ramadan but donate throughout the year, as individuals and families are always in need. There are school children who need stationary and uniforms; all these things are always in demand,” said Al Hinai. A woman who regularly donates money to charitable causes said: “Instead of donating money to one organisation during Ramadan, I spread this out throughout the year and give it to 12 charities, so that everyone gets an equal share of funding. One of the tenets I was brought up with was the importance of taking care of everyone, so we must all follow that.”
In addition, an Omani man added: “We have been given so much, so we must share it with everyone.”
Irrespective of who they are, if they need our help, we must offer it to them.”
More than OMR 2,912,377 from 111,721 donors has been raised through the portal since its launch, and distributed to different causes and charitable organisations.