Let’s face it – there are only so many summer days you can spend by the pool. So, why not try something different and volunteer for a worthy cause? Of, if time-strapped, provide a donation to help others keep up the good work?
As Ramadan is traditionally a month of giving and generosity, there is no better time than now to tick off ‘volunteer work’ from your bucket list. With that in mind, we had a look at what some of Doha’s leading charities and community organisations are doing over Ramadan to give you an idea of where to start.
Qatar Charity works both within Qatar and in numerous countries around the world to help needy communities, targeting sustainable development, reduction of poverty, disaster relief and emergency response.
To give you an idea of the scope of its work, the non-government agency recently signed two agreements with the United Nations – one to distribute seeds to poor farming families in Niger and another to help 10,000 displaced people from Myanmar. Earlier this year, Qatar Charity signed up with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on a project to help the fight against polio in Pakistan, too.
INFO: Qatar Charity, 4466 7711, www.qcharity.com.
Qatar Animal Welfare Society (QAWS)
It is hard to believe many people can look into the eyes of a faithful hound or kitty cat and then dump them, but unfortunately many people do, and that is where QAWS comes in.
Pets that owners find too much of a hassle to rehome when they leave Qatar, or animals that have sadly been abused or generally mistreated, are routinely taken in by the caring QAWS team.
What is worse, though, is that the animal shelter is in dire straits and facing closure because it needs a new home.
If QAWS closes, which appears highly likely unless an offer of new premises comes in very soon, more than 250 animals will lose the only home they’ve ever known and Qatar streets will be overrun with strays, given that the facility is the largest privately run shelter in the country.
The threat of shutdown has not stopped the steady number of animals being dumped, so QAWS needs all the help it can get.
Thankfully, animal lovers can help in a lot of different ways.
QAWS requires food and donations, or you can make a contribution to the society’s veterinary bill at the Qatar Veterinary Centre.
Or, you can join QAWS’ team of volunteers to help walk and socialise the animals, clean out facilities, support fundraising ventures, or even donate your PR or admin skills.
Finally, you can become a foster carer or adopt a new pet of your own.
INFO: Qatar Animal Welfare Society (QAWS), 5539 6074, www.qaws.org.
Reach Out To Asia (ROTA)
As a member of Qatar Foundation, ROTA is best known for its education projects in developing countries, though it does a lot of work in Qatar as well.
ROTA volunteers are hoping to avoid the dramas of TV home makeovers this Ramadan when they give a new lease of life to the homes of two Qatar families in need. With support from ROTA’s corporate partners, including Oxy Qatar, the makeovers will include maintenance, a fresh lick of paint and new furniture.
Volunteers will also distribute grocery packs of basic food items like rice, oil and flour to needy families.
It won’t all be hard work, though. Volunteers will celebrate the fun of Garangao, a special children’s Ramadan festival, with youngsters at the Children’s Rehabilitation Centre and Hamad Hospital. It will also host iftar events with community-based institutions who work with people with special needs.
INFO: Reach Out to Asia (ROTA), 4454 1603, www.reachouttoasia.org.
Qatar Red Crescent Society
It’s going to be a very busy month for staff and volunteers at Qatar Red Crescent. Their Ramadan schedule includes a ‘This is My Wish’ project, which will aim to fulfil the wishes of 100 children who are sick or have special needs, as well as providing tens of thousands of meals for workers on low incomes and other people in need, plus iftar events for the elderly and hospital patients.
While most people associate the Red Crescent with ambulances, the organisation also runs a lot of health and education programmes in Qatar, as well as responding to disasters and supporting projects around the globe. Ongoing projects are dotted throughout the Middle East, as well as in countries such as Haiti, China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Sudan and Pakistan.
INFO: Qatar Red Crescent Society, 6666 6364, www.ifrc.org/en/what-we-do/where-we-work/middle-east-and-north-africa/qa....