Muscat – To spread the culture of volunteer work in the sultanate, collect data of volunteers and save time and effort in mobilising initiatives, the Ministry of Social Development (MoSD) will establish an electronic platform called ‘Volunteers of Oman’.
The ministry and United Investment Development signed an agreement to this end on Tuesday.
A ministry official said the e-platform will include records of all volunteers and voluntary organisations, allowing MoSD to contact people involved in voluntary work across the sultanate quickly when the need arises.
‘Volunteers of Oman’ will also record the number of volunteering hours devoted by workers in different fields.
“After compilation of volunteering records in Phase 1, work will begin in coordination with the relevant authorities to provide benefits to volunteers who have put in a certain number of volunteer hours. This will be based on criteria to be announced in due course,” the MoSD official added.
Announcement of the e-platform prompted quick response from volunteers. Speaking to Muscat Daily, Ahmed bin Hamad al Kharusi, a blood donor who has given the gift of life 188 times, said, “I have spent 37 years in volunteer work. This platform will encourage many youngsters to volunteer their time and efforts for others’ good.”
He added that the platform will provide data specific to needs and situations as and when these arise, especially in the field of blood donation, of which there are severe shortages most of the year.
“The platform will help in communication and bonding between different groups of society, create solidarity, and solve the challenges volunteers face.”
Kharusi hoped ‘Volunteers of Oman’ will pave the way to implementing electronic cards – gold, silver to bronze based on the volume of work – for all volunteers in the sultanate. “This will encourage them to dedicate more time and effort in volunteer work.”
Ali al Shanfari, a member of the Iteen volunteer team in Salalah, said, “The e-platform is a good step to involve civil society in volunteer work in an organised manner.”
He urged all volunteers and volunteer teams to register on the platform as soon as it is launched.
Welcoming the agreement, Salim Mubarak, head of the Quriyat Volunteer Team, said an e-platform dedicated to volunteers and volunteer work will streamline efforts of those who work selflessly in solidarity of others and for the good of society.