Life Makers activities are off the starting blocks in Ramadan [Archives:2006/986/Local News]

October 2 2006

Nisreen Shadad
SANA'A, Sept. 28 ) “We'll move heaven and earth, if that's what it takes to change our reality and make a better life in Yemen,” says senior Life Makers Foundation member Mohammed Al-Shami speaking about the group's mission.

To make this a reality, Life Makers works in a number of areas divided into seven groups: future protectors, technology, medicine, religious awareness (liqa' Al-ahiba), a health forum, an orphanage and a painting on glass group.

An administrative group meets weekly to discuss activities accomplished and future plans. Among its future plans, Life Makers is about to launch its Ramadan Bag initiative, wherein bags containing basic commodities like sugar, oil, rice and flour are distributed to the poor during Ramadan. Last year, they gave bags to 600 families, while 100 families received Eid clothes and 60 families received YR 5,000 on Eid eve.

The group also decided on a day to host an iftar meal for orphans at the Government Social Orphanage. “On Friday, the 14th day of Ramadan, the orphanage group will break the fast with approximately 600 orphans,” says activities officer Adnan Al-Washali.

The orphanage group consists of 50 people, mostly women, who visit the orphanage two days a week to educate children between first and sixth grade. They provide math and Arabic tutoring on Sundays, while using Tuesdays to bond with the orphans and show they care by offering tender hands to wipe their tears and give them a glimmer of hope.

Instead of children washing their clothes by hand, Life Makers gave the orphanage a washing machine and continuously provides the orphans with clothes and personal hygiene items. It also brings in barbers to give haircuts.

Headed by Mohammed Naser, the health forum organizes a daily “Child Health Care” course, which began the first day of Ramadan and will continue until the 15th day. Lectures are given by Dr. Arwa Baidar, head of the Ministry of Health's Mother and Child Program, and Dr. Abdullah Al-Dhiley, a Ministry of Health doctor.

Additionally, the forum regularly organizes first aid and general health care lectures at its premises to help individuals recover from accidents and injuries on their own before needing to be transported to hospitals for treatment.

The foundation's administrative meeting also discussed details of an income-generating project launched by the technology group, which includes providing computer and peripherals maintenance at the foundation's premises for a nominal fee.

A number of Yemeni activists established Life Makers Foundation in March 2005 following a trend begun by a program on Iqra Channel conducted by famed preacher Amr Khalid, which aims to empower youth and provide them the means to enhance society.