As the month of Ramadan gets underway, several local charities are pledging to spend more than QR25 million (US$6.87 million) on initiatives to help those in need throughout the country.
One of the most important times of year for Muslims, Ramadan is usually meant to herald a period of reflection, patience, virtue and self-control.
Along with fasting during daylight hours, Muslims are also encouraged to devote time and resources to helping those who are less fortunate.
While Qatar is one of the world’s richest countries per capita, it is also home to hundreds of thousands of blue-collar workers on low incomes from countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal and India.
Projects for the underprivileged include setting up iftar tents across Qatar that provide basic food and drink for those breaking their fast; handing out iftar packages to those traveling on planes or around town; and providing financial aid and Eid clothing bundles to low-income Muslim families who live in the country.
Charities also set up drives to deliver iftar packages around the Industrial Area and set up iftaar tents in the district, providing food to many construction workers in need. Medical assistance is also on offer.
The charities do caution that as the tents are sponsored by individuals, they vary in size and capacity. The Peninsula reported disappointment from some workers yesterday as, after lengthy queuing, they were told a tent had run out of food.
Here is some more information on what some of Qatar’s main charities have planned.
Qatar Charity (QC) has committed QR16 million ($4.4 million)to domestic projects in the country during Ramadan – part of an overall spend of QR43.6 million ($11.94 million) under its “Noor Al Utaa” campaign.
The budget is up by QR4 million from last year, and QC is using the funds to set up 20 iftar tents around Doha, as well as in Al Khor, Simaisma, Umm Salal, Dhakhira, Shahaniya and Al Wakrah, for low-income workers to break their fast.
The charity is also running a “mobile iftar tent,” distributing food packages to around 12,000 workers in the Industrial area.
Meanwhile, QC is inviting residents to sponsor and deliver food packages to less well-off families here through its “Fieh el Afiya” program. The charity estimates that 7,500 people will benefit from this during Ramadan.
There is also a Ramadan Supply project that ensures some 1,500 families receive coupons for food and other essential supplies during the holy month, while families can also receive financial aid through a separate QR1.5 million initiative run by QC.
And for those who are traveling during iftar, the charity will distribute around 12,000 food packages to drivers as they break their fast at sundown.
Qatar Red Crescent
Qatar Red Crescent (QRC) will spend QR8.7 million ($2.38 million) on 12 social projects across the country, which stand to benefit 111,000 people during and following Ramadan, with the campaign “Your donation is their lifeline.”
QRC plans to commit QR1.35 million to feed a total of 84,000 people – 2,800 a day – in iftar tents and to provide food packages for 320 families during the month.
It will also provide clothes for Eid and financial aid worth more than QR1 million.
Finally, QRC said it plans to run medical assistance programs, with free checkups for those visiting mosques throughout the country, and hold awareness lectures on issues including nutrition and sun exposure.
Programs that run throughout the rest of the year include providing food, medical and financial assistance to families in need, school vouchers, education sponsorship funds and a “This is my wish” initiative for ill children.
Sheikh Thani Bin Abdullah Foundation for Humanitarian Services (RAF) has joined forces with Aspire Zone Foundation to host a series of religious activities during the third annual Ramadan festival.
This will include 18 public lectures with 23 guests from around the world primarily at Aspire Zone and the surrounding area.
Dr. Ayed bin Dabssan al-Qahtani, chairman of the Board of Trustees and general director of RAF, told Gulf Times that highlights of the festival would include 12 Qur’an reciters leading night prayers at Aspire mosque.
The charity is also planning to distribute 2,000 specially-created Ramadan packs, 6,000 surveys, 2,000 books, 10,000 Aspire booklet and brochures and 3,000 CDs.
Moreover, volunteers will distribute about 600 meals to people who are on nearby roads during Maghrib prayer.
Reach Out to Asia
Reach Out to Asia (ROTA), a not-for-profit community development organization which is part of Qatar Foundation, works with volunteers daily during Ramadan to put together and distribute food packages for low-income families.
As part of its Ramadan campaign, volunteers for the charity will also renovate Bangladesh MHM School in Abu Hamour, and take part in initiatives at Qatar Foundation for Elderly Care, and with children at Rumailah and Hamad Hospitals.
In addition, dozens of organizations throughout Qatar initiate their own projects during Ramadan. Qatar Airways, for example, provides takeaway iftar boxes to Muslim passengers on its intra-Gulf flights.
What will you be doing to help out this Ramadan? Thoughts?