Oman Woman of the Year 2020
Amal al Balushi, the brain behind Atheer Delights, an Omani sweets shop wherein all the products are made by five girls with special needs, believes that empowerment of the differently-abled is what reinforces a country’s workforce.
Amal, who spearheaded the project with her husband Khalid al Balushi, named the shop after their 15 year old daughter Atheer who has a mental development disability. She taught Atheer and her younger sister Hams (who also has a disability) how to prepare sweets from dates so that they don’t have to idle away their time at home, once out of school. At Atheer’s behest, a few of her classmates, too, were invited to join the project that has received an overwhelming response from consumers in Oman.
Currently, Amal funds the project towards raw material expenses, shop rent and the girls’ salaries. However the Al Raffd Fund has offered help towards decorating of their outlet to make it presentable to customers. The project is the first of its kind in the region and is seen to pave the way for providing employment to youngsters with special needs.
While Amal has great plans to let the business flourish such that more outlets can be opened in different parts of Oman, she is also willing to provide training to children with special needs to take up such employment in a bid to grow up into financially independent adults.
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