Expat society in new push as fundraiser shelved
Manama, March 30, 2014
A society set up to defend the rights of Bahrain's migrant workers is looking to plug a BD30,000 ($79,116) hole in its finances after abandoning plans for an annual fundraiser.
Volunteers at the Migrant Workers Protection Society (MWPS) are so busy handling the casework of hundreds of people they help every year that they had no time to organise the Crystal Ball Charity Dinner Dance, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
The last event in November 2012 raised more than BD30,000 for the society, but it is now looking for less labour-intensive ways to raise cash - such as corporate sponsorship or regular, recurring private donations.
"Funding is one of our main issues because the only way of getting a good chunk (of money) is by having a big fundraiser - and if the same people run around trying to organise that while running the society at the same time, it's too huge a task," explained MWPS chairwoman Marietta Dias.
"So we are always looking for donations, but we are all volunteers so we keep our expenses to the bare minimum."
MWPS general secretary Beverley Hamadeh said the society had considered approaching large companies seeking pledges under corporate social responsibility programmes.
"What we would really like is for some top companies to guarantee us an annual donation, which we don't have to keep asking for," she said.
She added the society had almost been a "victim of its own success" since being founded in 2005, because growing awareness of its work had not been matched by an increase in people willing to help.
"The number of committed volunteers has not grown by the same proportion as the number of people who need support," she explained.
"Which just means a greater workload for the same amount, or slightly more."
The MWPS helps expatriate workers achieve their basic human rights in accordance with internationally recognised standards.
Since 2005 it has provided shelter to more than 1,300 abused or exploited female workers, as well as arranging medical treatment, paying visa fees and buying airline tickets for repatriation.
The society provides expatriate workers with translators and is actively engaged in all follow-up work related to their cases including frequent visits to police stations; manpower agencies; the Labour Ministry; Labour Market Regulatory Authority embassies; the Nationality, Passports and Residence Affairs offices; hospitals; the Public Prosecution and the courts.
To donate money or volunteer, visit the society website at www.mwpsbahrain.com. - TradeArabia News Service