The Social Welfare Program provides necessary care and supplies to disadvantaged families and individuals. Ahlouna volunteers regularly conduct field visits to needy families in poor neighbourhoods and complete a thorough assessment of the living, health, social, educational and economic conditions of each family. According to the evaluations Ahlouna provides necessary support in the form of periodic food provisions, clothes, school transportation costs, scholarships, milk, diapers and necessary cleaning and cooking services for the elderly and disabled. The program regularly tracks the families and their progress. In cases where there are problems which the Social Welfare Program cannot address, they then refer the case to corresponding organizations or institutions who deal in that area of specialty. When resources are available, elderly and handicap individuals are given extra care.
■ Provide basic care to underprivileged families to alleviate financial burdens.
■ Focus on providing support to individuals with limited capacity to help themselves; handicap, elderly, divorced and widowed women.
■ Continually track the progress of families as a means of providing the most efficient form of support.
■ Needy families from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.
Facts & figures:
■ Estimated number of families receiving some form of aid in 2011: 1,600 families.
One of the beneficiaries of this program is a 70 year old retired nurse. For many years she worked at the government hospital eventually retiring and buying a home to live in with her retirement money. However, because of the severe economic situation and her limited income, she struggles to pay basic living costs such as electricity bills and medicine. The welfare she receives from Ahlouna, which in her case comes in the form of monthly food provisions, allows her to allocate that money to paying electricity bills and buying medicine. In cases like these, the Social Welfare Program eases burdens on individuals who have already paid their dues to society and are unable to actively better their lives.
The Orphan Sponsorship Program provides support to orphans in the domain of education and reintegration into the family and society. This is done by covering school tuition and transportation costs as well as following up on their progress at home and at school through regular visits. This program tries to help the orphans overcome any challenges they may face.
■ Cover costs of school tuition fees and other costs related to schooling.
■ Provide social support by helping solve familial problems which take place at home.
■ Regularly plan recreational activities for the orphans.
■ Expose orphans and widows to cultural and health awareness issues.
■ Provide widows with job opportunities.
■ Every child whose father is diciest and who lives with the mother, or any other member of the family. (They must be of the families registered in the Social Welfare Program).
Facts & figures:
■ Estimate number of beneficiaries in 2011: 69 fully sponsored orphans & 225 registered orphans.
■ Cost of Sponsorship of one orphan per year: $1,200 ($100/month).
A young girl whose father died and was abandoned by her mother after remarrying, was left to be raised by the grandmother. Ahlouna sponsored this young girl and supported her throughout her middle school and high school years. She graduated from high school and is currently perusing a university degree in business management with hopes of becoming a professional career woman.
The Household Services Program provides part-time, flexible job opportunities for under-educated and under-skilled women in the areas of cleaning, cooking, hospitality and care for the elderly. Ahlouna plays the role of intermediary between women who need jobs and households that are in need of hired help. Ahlouna also follows up on both parties to ensure high quality of this program.
In addition, Ahlouna also provides capacity building opportunities for these women, to develop both technical and personal skills (communications, income management, priority setting, etc) and empower them to enter the work force. This program strives to support and facilitate that women become independent of Ahlouna and are able to secure employment on their own. However, it does not abandon these women and maintains to provide further support when necessary.
■ Create job opportunities for marginalized women fitting to their skill set.
■ Develop the capacities of the women through various workshops.
■ Provide varied services to households in need of hired help throughout Saida and surrounding areas.
■ Promote local employment.
■ Underprivileged women whom are under-educated and under-skilled.
■ A majority of them are divorced or widowed.
■ Women coming from a environments where women are discouraged from becoming independent.
Facts and Figures
■ Estimated number of beneficiaries in 2011: 77 women..
A woman, who suffered from complicated marital problems and daily domestic violence, detrimentally affecting her and her children, came to Ahlouna in search of employment. Through her work, she was able to become financially independent and eventually divorce her husband. She was able to move into a house with her children to give them a brighter future.
The Clothes Distribution Program provides new and used clothing to underprivileged families in Saida for token prices. Ahlouna collects clothes from individuals, families, and clothing departments and prepares them for resale. There are a variety of items available at the store including clothes, accessories, household items and so on. The clothing center is easily accessible to the beneficiaries as it is strategically located in the market of Saida.
■ Help families save on spending of clothes so that they may allocate money to other areas of financial needs.
■ Encourage individuals and companies that are financially stable to give back to their community.
■ Underprivileged families and individuals of Saida and surrounding areas.
Facts & figures:
■ Estimated number of beneficiaries in 2011: 500 families. .
The Psychological Support Program, the newest program at Ahlouna, works with existing beneficiaries whom are in need of psychological support. They need help in overcoming social, behavior and personal problems in order to improve or learn how to deal with their situation. This is done through periodic sessions with psychologists, speech therapists and occupational therapist.
■ Address the mental health issues of beneficiaries.
■ Help beneficiaries better understand and deal with their reality and social problems.
■ Men, women and children who are beneficiaries in any of Ahlouna existing programs whom exhibit need and desire for psychological treatment.
Facts & figures:
■ This project launched in April of 2010.
■ Estimated number of beneficiaries in 2011: 30 individuals.