(Photo: The Silent Volunteers take part in the Smile Hypermarket World Record for the largest human smiley face)
By Wajeeha Malik
To affect change there’s a saying that we must all be a drop in a bucket, as sustained, small actions have a cumulative impact on the world around us. It’s with this motto in mind that Qatar’s very own Silent Volunteers are organized their first desert cleanup in support of a healthy environment for all. The cleanup drive will involve removing litter from the Singing Sand Dunes on Friday, April 21, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Volunteers will be provided with large size garbage bags, hand gloves and refreshments at the venue.
“We hope that the desert cleanup will be a great opportunity to bring out many volunteers who have the thirst to serve society,” says Isham Marikar, Founder of Silent Volunteers.
This is the group’s first desert cleanup, and is being held at the Singing Sand Dunes because it’s a part of the desert where many people go for the weekend and has a really bad litter problem, according to the volunteers. Items such as plastic bottles, broken glass, and shopping bags are polluting a beautiful space where people go to relax.
“Specifically, we have selected the Singing Sand Dunes because it’s an eye-catching spot in Doha for children and senior citizens,” says Marikar. “It’s so pathetic to see that those [relaxation] portions become polluted by littering, throwing waste materials, and improper disposal of non-degradable stuffs.”
(Photo: A Silent Volunteer member distributes water and iftar items to passing cars during Ramadan.)
The organization is a Sri Lankan-based volunteer organization, but the involvement of international communities is a great success for them as they take part in the projects and develop an understanding. It’s been active for three years now. The group started volunteering under the name of Silent Volunteers in March 2014. Silent Volunteers is a Sri Lanka based volunteering group that has two chapters in Qatar and Malaysia. Currently, they have around 30 active participants in Doha who volunteer during their free time.
When asked to explain why they chose the name ‘Silent Volunteers’, Marikar says that the concept of volunteerism is often exploited as a marketing tool, with some individuals and/or companies seeking personal gain or profit by capitalizing on this term. This kind of exploitation can detract from the humanitarian aspect of volunteering, so Marikar explains that to retain their anonymity and let their work speak for itself, they dubbed themselves as ‘silent’.
In the future, the group plans to distribute iftar packs at traffic signals throughout Ramadan as part of their annual work.
(Photo: Silent Volunteers founder Isham Marikar)
To learn more about the Silent Volunteers, or to get involved go to:
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