Substantiating its five-year long presence in the country as the social development arm of Khimji Ramdas, Eshraqa has collated its projects and initiatives to showcase some of its major milestones in five wilayats, and announce its intent to focus on Wilayat Dima Wattayeen in 2022.
Over the last five years, Eshraqa has played a pivotal role in conceptualizing and implementing social impact projects that benefited a total of 85 schools, four hospitals, two health centers, four NGOs dedicated to people with disabilities and five women’s associations, among others. It invested its resources to explore novel approaches that helped develop transformative projects for the betterment of communities across the Sultanate.
It has consciously espoused the policy of ‘one wilayat at a time’, providing comprehensive support for all communities in the wilayat; creating avenues for better health, education, community well-being and entrepreneurship. So far, communities in the wilayats of Samail, Izki, Bidbid, Ibra and Bidiyah have benefitted from the initiatives, with Wilayat Dima Wattayeen earning its attention during the course of the current year.
Congratulating Eshraqa on its impressive progress in a short span of time, Nailesh Khimji, Director of Khimji Ramdas, said, “When we established Eshraqa as our social development arm in 2016, we wanted it to embody our vision of empowering local communities through projects that have far-reaching impact. It has not only surpassed this vision with several distinctive milestones, it has corroborated our commitment to contribute to the nation’s well-being and development. It continues to inspire our youth with inclusive ventures that engage with them on different levels. It has employed novel approaches to coalesce with the community and collaborate with educational institutions to bring about all round development; it has introduced special projects to support persons with disabilities, enhance the capabilities of Omani youth and empower women to realize their full potentials. 2022 will mark another major milestone in its successful journey, as it brings Wilayat Dima Wattayeen under its developmental scheme.”
Eshraqa aims to achieve best outcomes by directing its efforts towards specific sectors that have direct and indirect impact on the lives of the people. In line with this aim, it has stepped in to meet requirements like medical equipment for health centers, housing for underprivileged, buses for local women’s associations, sponsorship for the national Paralympics Association, and funding for research on nutrition, in partnership with the Ministry of Health. In addition to that, its training pillar has benefited over 4000 people through learning programs.
Of particular significance are its key projects like Tasees, Stemazone, Qudurat, Eshraqa e-learning center at Oman International Maritime College, and Sindbad Library. While Tasees (Eshraqa Entrepreneurship Academy) is engaged in creating an entrepreneurial mindset in the youth and developing knowledge and skills among professionals through a mentorship program, Stemazone is designed as a unique educational program to introduce children to the world of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics. Qudurat is an umbrella initiative for all projects that foster women empowerment and employability building; Eshraqa E-learning Center, at the International Maritime College in Sohar, serves as a physical site that provides round-the-clock online access to digitized study material; and the Sindbad Children’s Mobile Library promotes reading and story-telling through drive tours around the country.
Pointing out that Eshraqa’s primary beneficiaries are Omani youth, women and persons with disabilities, Nailesh Khimji stated that Eshraqa is tailored for those whom every opportunity matters. “We believe that with a little support, they can then go on to make a real difference for their families and in their communities. Our larger objective is to make a holistic impact on society through the educational sector, by helping equip young Omanis to be future-ready – beginning at community schools, and moving right up to the incubation of entrepreneurial start-ups,” he added.
While Eshraqa’s education ambit has provided structural support to educational centers, instituted scholarships and offered vocational and entrepreneurial training, among others, its health domain has proven to be a literal pillar for nationwide healthcare programs, involving research and intervention and improvement of medical facilities. Under its community well-being sector, it has made concerted efforts to raise the quality of life through infrastructural facilities and provision of recreational outlets, in addition to initiatives like Qudurat for women empowerment and Taheel for people with disabilities – including vocational training, wheelchairs, Braille sense machines, laptops, Visi-pitch (voice and speech) machines and physical therapy equipment. Additionally, it has targeted the SME sector under its training program, offering Entrepreneurship Academy to tap the potentials of interested entrepreneurs.
During the last five years, Eshraqa has worked alongside associations and NGOs like Oman Association for Disabled, Omani Association for the Hearing Impaired, Association for the Welfare of Disabled Children, Al Noor Association for the Blind, Ihasan Association (for the elderly), Oman Down Syndrome Association, Association of Early Intervention for Children with Special Needs, Dar Al Atta and Al Rahma Association, to develop their operational network.
Eshraqa continues to contribute to the nation’s socio-economic progress by developing innovative solutions that enhance its support to the community and by empowering people with tools and skills to become self-reliant.