Orphans enjoy fun day

Muscat: Children from the orphan care centre in Al Khoud had a fun day out at Qurum Park last Thursday, thanks to an initiative undertaken by some warm-hearted Omani youth.

About 40 of the orphans, aged 9 to 15 years, spent the afternoon and evening jumping on a bouncy castle, playing a life-sized Snakes and Ladders game, getting their faces painted, and watching live music and plays.  The event was hosted by alumni of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) programme, which is funded by the United States Department of State and provides scholarships for secondary school students to spend a year studying in the US.

The students are selected by Amideast, the American organisation that supports educational activities in the Middle East.

"When we were in the States, we noticed the youth are very involved in serving their community. We wanted to apply that in Oman in a way that fits our society," said Has'san Al Busaidi, the vice-president of the YES alumni campaign working with the orphans.
Al Busaidi and other YES alumni approached the orphanage about doing a one-day event for the children, but instead it turned into a big campaign with members of the alumni spending a few hours each week doing activities at the orphanage.

"They need good influence from youth in their lives. They need someone to educate and interact with them. We play with them and teach them some basic English," he explained. He said being able to volunteer at the orphanage is overwhelming. "Doing good is always good for the heart. When you give back it feels good that you can draw a smile on someone's face. That's exactly what we want to do today," he said.

There were about 20 YES alumni at the event, and a lot of volunteers from the Amideast Access Programme, which provides English classes to Omani high school students from underprivileged families. American exchange students who are part of the YES programme here in Oman also volunteered their time.

Dylan Hoey, from Wisconsin (United States), said he and the other American exchange students were very keen to do volunteer activities in Oman.

Even American Ambassador Greta Holtz came out to the park to spend time with the orphans. She said the US embassy is very supportive of Amideast's events.


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I was there at the start of the orphanage working with the ministry of education to recognise the need for education within the orphanage. The British & American women met in my house we organised play groups bought shoes for the orphans provided toys. We had the first gathering in the park it was a great day the Omani pipe band created a wonderful atmosphere at last Oman accepted they had a problem with orphans. I was invited to the official opening of the orphanage it was a great honour then my husbands company sent him back to Britain. My husband died last May I have such fond memories of our time in Oman. It is wonderful to see the good work continues.

Can the reporter of this article or someone involved in the activity provide me adress and contact detail of the orphanage or any other orphanage based in muscat. I want to visit and donate in one such along with my son.

I would appreciate if you could share with me contact detail of a few orphanages in Muscat. I would like to donate my kids old toys and clothes and also make my kid visit the orphanage and celebrate a few festivals with the kids. Let me know.

Hello. I, too, would like to know whether volunteering opportunities are available at an orphanage near Muscat. I would like to come with my children and spend some time playing, reading to, and talking to some of these kids. Thank you in advance for your help.