A milestone charity initiative marked 23 Feb 2014. This was our first ACT initiative in the Sultanate of Oman, a perfect way to celebrate the birthday of Mohanji, Founder of ACT.
I’ve been in Muscat for four years now and for various reasons could not identify a genuine charitable cause that would be suitable for ACT. We therefore continued with a low-key random food distribution to the laborers over the weekend and focused on the ACT initiatives globally.
However, that changed on 23 Feb 2014. I came to know about the Center for Special Education (CSE) in Darsait, Muscat through our dear friends Dr. Pushpa and Dr. Gajanan. This humble little center caters to children with Special Needs and various other challenges beyond the barriers of race, religion, nationality, etc. They cater to children of all age groups, up to 18.
The Centre has been allocated a couple of rooms/ a wing of the Indian School in Muscat. The center functions purely on donations, which indeed are scarce. Somehow they are mainly missed in all charity drives of the established local charities which give preference to Omani children. This is what really resonated with me and ‘clicked’ instantly with the mission of ACT.
We received a list of items they require at present (mainly medical support, furniture, IT equipment, educational tools and toys, etc.) and managed to collect sufficient funds to cover at least ¼ of their total requirement.
This is just a beginning and we surely intend to do more. After talking to the person in-charge of CSE, it became evident that there is so much more support that they would need, especially since the children who leave the Center are by no means ready for what awaits them. There is no effort taken by the government or social institutions to integrate them into the society. There are at least 50 other children on the waiting list to join CSE, but they don’t have sufficient space and resources. This is truly sad.. A lot of work to be done… One girl and one boy in the wheelchair especially touched my heart with their sad eyes and gentle smiles. One girl (who is unable to talk, but otherwise healthy and very radiant) shared with us her embroidery work and her eagerness to do more and use her talent to support her fellow friends at CSE. Her selflessness really touched my heart.
We left the Center with the grand feeling that ground has been set for us to express our love and support towards the needy children of Mother Earth, starting within our immediate surroundings.
All the ACT donations that we collect within Oman will now go towards CSE. We also intend to spread the word and look for volunteers who could go to CSE and offer their time and skills in support of the needy children.
It is indeed a privilege to be in a position to serve.