(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Ten winners of the third Sultan Qaboos Award for Voluntary Work were honoured at a ceremony held on Thursday at Grand Hyatt Muscat.
H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Said bin Saif al Kalbani, Minister of Social Development and chairman of the main awards committee, H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser al Bakri, Minister of Manpower, and Zarith Sofia bint Sultan Idris Shah, Princess of Malaysia, were chief guests on the occasion.
The event was also attended by members of non-government organisations and representatives of various associations.
Speaking on the occasion, H E Kalbani said that the event is a celebration of volunteerism and reflects the care taken by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said to support volunteer work for encouraging innovation and creativity. He also said that many needs of society are being met through volunteer work.
A total of 95 projects were submitted this year and entries were judged for their impact on society. The individual category had no top winner. The second spot was shared by the Najat project by Jihad bint Jabr al Busaidi and Jihad al Yafeiyah's orphan welfare project.
The third-place winners were Mahmoud bin Khalfan al Hamhami for his Teaching and Employment Project for the Visually Impaired Using Modern Technologies' and Amal bint Mubarak Salim al Oraimiyah for 'Providing Prosthetic Devices to the Needy'.
In the NGO category, the project to rehabilitate handicapped children supported by the Association for the Welfare of Handicapped Children won the first prize, followed by the 'Ala Honak' campaign by Al Hibbi in Bahla and 'Awareness Campaign on Genetic Diseases and How to Treat Them' by the Omani Hereditary Blood Disorders Association was third.
In the corporate category, Oman Oil Company won the award for initiating volunteer work. Al Jisr Charitable Organisation won in the charitable organisations category and the Social Development Committee in the wilayat of Quriyat won in outstanding committees category.
Addressing the gathering, Princess Zarith said, ''I think the idea of awarding people and organisations for volunteer work is great. Oman is a great country and I found women actively participating in voluntary work in different fields. We don't have such concept in Malaysia but would like to learn from Oman's experience. The spirit of giving always brings joy.''<