Monday, September 17, 2007


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WAMY Distributing Food Baskets Among the Poor
Javid Hassan, Arab News

RIYADH, 16 September 2007 — Food baskets worth SR2 million are being distributed by the World Assembly of Islamic Youth (WAMY) to the poor and the needy during Ramadan, in addition to Iftar packets for those who are fasting.

Dr. Saleh Al-Wohaibi, secretary-general of WAMY, told Arab News that the organization has also allocated an additional SR2 million to help Islamic organizations in Africa and other countries around the world during the holy month.

Under a separate program, school bags have been distributed to needy boys and girls to help them after the reopening of schools at the end of the summer recess.

The distribution of food baskets is part of WAMY’s long-term plan to give away 100 million baskets over the next five years. Each basket consists a month’s supply of rice, macaroni and sugar for a Saudi family of seven.

This is in addition to the distribution of Iftar packets for people across the Kingdom. An amount of SR2 million has been allocated for such a program.

Dr. Al-Wohaibi said: “We also help thousands of needy students, both boys and girls, by supplying them with school bags. Our volunteers either go to schools or move from house to house distributing school bags. The other channels are the local Saudi organizations and mosques, which can undertake the distribution.”

Referring to WAMY’s charitable program abroad, the secretary-general said that some 50 countries around the world are benefiting from it. Under this program, an amount of SR2 million has been allocated to financially help the poor, mainly in Africa and other developing countries.

In response to a question, Dr. Al-Wohaibi said, “Restrictions on WAMY have affected our activities. But we are coping with the situation as best as we can. In spite of difficulties, we continue to give scholarships to Saudi students pursuing higher studies in Sudan, Malaysia and other Muslim countries. In Sudan, we even provide them with residence and meals. Saudi students pursuing higher education are helped financially,” he added.

In an earlier interview, the secretary-general said that it was able to provide scholarships to some 500 young men and women, who otherwise had no way of pursuing college education.

“Over the years, our scholarship program has made it possible for thousands of students all over the world to obtain degrees in various fields of study, get decent jobs and lead happy lives,” he said.

Asked about the criteria for handing out food baskets, Dr. Al-Wohaibi said that care is taken to ensure that the beneficiaries are those who are in genuine need. He added that food baskets were purchased with sadaqa money and not zakah.

He pointed out that WAMY was sponsoring over 30,000 orphans. With its help and that of its donors, these young boys and girls could get food, shelter and proper education.

“We have a number of programs and short-term training courses to help people learn important skills such as time management, team work, computer skills, foreign languages and the like,” he said.

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