It might be the most exciting month of the year in Bahrain, but that doesn’t mean that it will be fun and games for everyone
Time Out Bahrain staff
This month has a packed social calendar. Formula One, the Spring of Culture festival, parties galore and a plethora of activities should make March the best month of the year for locals and visitors alike. But what if you are too poor to splash out on the multitude of activities on offer? What if you are too ill to appreciate speed at the BIC? What if you’re a dog? We caught up with some of the leading figures in Bahrain’s burgeoning charity world to find out what people can do this month to make a difference to the lives of those less fortunate.
Kate Brown, Marketing Manager Alghalia Give Back Campaign
‘Alghalia will be launching its second ‘Give Back’ Campaign on March 16 at Dessange Spa in support of RIA. Dessange will be the first of our seven outlets, over seven months, to donate a day’s revenue to a children’s charity. To help, all you need to do is visit our website or keep an eye on Time Out Bahrain, which will tell you every month what outlet will be donating their revenue on which day of the month. Then, book a table with friends and family, enjoy the food, (or spa treatment on Dessange Give Back Day), and pay your bill as normal. We will donate 100 percent of the money received on that day to our designated charity (even the staff will be donating their tips!). If you can’t make the event day and want to help there will be donation boxes in all seven outlets for the rest of 2010. People can also enter a business card draw in which they are asked to donate BD1 and their business card. A winning card will be drawn at the end of the year at our presentation lunch and win a day at Al Badar Hotel & Resort.’ For more information, visit www.alghalia.com.
Marietta Dias, Founder of the Migrant Workers Protection Society
‘There are lots of things that people can do, starting off with giving us some of their time, volunteering. Our main focus is following up cases of abused workers, so that is where we fall short, because even if people want to, they cannot give their time in that one area because it is all during the day, and obviously people are busy in their own jobs. We also run a shelter for abused women; we can only afford a small place. At any given time we can have about five to six women, and people can help with that. Anyone can approach us, and they can see where they can fit in.We also accept donations – we are self-funding, so we raise money with some events and the rest comes from the public at large, we are reliant on them.’ For more information on how you can help, contact Marietta on 39 452 470.
Julie Sprakel, Founder, Think Pink Bahrain
‘The best thing is to do what we are asking you to do and be proactive about your health. It doesn’t cost anything to do your checks once a month: education is the first line of defence. For more information about this check out www.thinkpinkbahrain.com where you’ll find a lot of information about self-examination and we have a list of local hospitals and GPs and a hotline as well. In terms of volunteering, we could use help with anything from a small involvement in making ribbons to those happy to go and take the message out there’. For more information on how you can help, contact Julie on 39 076 717.
Khawla Al Muhannadi, president of the Environment Friends Society
‘If we want to make a difference to the environment, the key word is: reduce. All of us can do this. We can reduce how much we buy, how much packing it uses, what we consume and what we throw away – from plastic bags to the food we cook. And by working together we can cut down on car journeys, electricity and water use – both at home and at work. Reduce doesn’t mean lower living standards and a poor life. It means taking just as much as you need from the world, not as much as you can.’ For more information, visit www.eef.org.bh.
Joyce Hughes, BSPCA Fundraising Officer
‘People can do anything, we need everything. We have no official funding, so any amount of money helps us. We are very short of volunteers, not so much on the animal side but in the society itself. And I think this is relative to most charities. The running of the society and everything in it depends on volunteers. We have very few pr people, we have very few fundraisers, and we are desperate for a society secretary. The biggest thing you could give to the BSPCA is regular time. We need committed people who really care about the future of these poor, abandoned and often tortured animals.’ For more information, visit www.bspca.info.