Saudi Gazette – The Kingdom’s youth, both male and female, have immense potential that should be utilized for the greater good of society. The holy month of Ramadan is the best time to volunteer as students of all ages are on vacation. With ample time to spare, experts say students can apply themselves by serving society and improving their communities, Al-Riyadh daily reports.
Dr. Abdulmonem Al-Gaw, associate professor of curricula at the University of Dammam, said the country’s youth can play an important role in building a strong society. He advised parents to not leave their children unsupervised or without a sense of direction and instead set goals for them to meet. “Still, we have not invested in the power of our young men and women to perform volunteer work. Most countries abroad have training programs for youth that teach them how to be active volunteers,” Al-Gaw said.
He also called for organizing different activities for the youth during the summer break. “Every Ramadan, young men go out on the street few minutes before Maghrib and hand out free meals to drivers and passersby. It is a good thing but should not be the only volunteer work. Besides, it is dangerous for them to distribute food on the streets around that time because the streets are full of reckless drivers. Why do we not teach our children to do volunteer work in prisons, for example?” he asked.
Staying up late
Dr. Muhammad Al-Ali, assistant professor of Shariah and Islamic Studies School at Imam Muhammad Bin Saud University, said most young men and women spend the vacation staying up late and sleeping in. “We, as parents, are responsible for our young sons and daughters. We should put them on the right track and show them how they can volunteer to help other members of society who are in need. We should design solutions to this problem. Leaving them like that will have a negative impact on their health,” Al-Ali said.
He called for setting up neighborhood committees with active board members who can introduce various sporting activities and volunteer programs. “Of course, women should not be left out and should be allowed to play a major role in the programs as organizers and participants,” he added
Abdullah Al-Shammary, a director of a leadership training center here, called upon young men and women to use social media to market themselves and offer their services as volunteers.
“In Ramadan, volunteer work should focus on providing free iftar meals to the public and the poor and Dawa activities. In each and every neighborhood, there are poor families who are so ashamed of their poverty that they never go to charity organizations seeking help. Instead, they prefer to stay at home so their neighbors do not see them. We should reach out to these families and take food to their homes,” he said.
“We can support our community members in many different ways without making them feel embarrassed about their situation. For example, we can pay a grocery store in the neighborhood and ask the shopper to take the food to the family and tell them it is a gift from an anonymous person.”