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Philanthropy must be made sustainable: Sheikha Aisha.

By Joseph Varghese/Staff Reporter Philanthropy must have sustainable impacts on societies, stressed Dr. Sheikha Aisha bint Faleh bin Nasser al-Thani, former chairperson and a founding member of the Academy of Philanthropy. She was speaking at a workshop of invited representatives of leading philanthropy organisations in Qatar over the weekend. The Academy of Philanthropy, an NGO founded in the US, is the first of its kind in the world.

Around 30 representatives from various institutions in Qatar took part in the workshop jointly organised by the Academy of Philanthropy, World Congress of Philanthropists and Cass Business School of the City University London. The participating organisations included Social Development Centre, Silatech, Rota, Al Fakhoora, Georgetown University and many other charity organisations in the country.

Speaking on the occasion, Sheikha Aisha said that the Academy of Philanthropy was brought to Qatar to educate people on philanthropy.

She explained: "We need to strategise our policy of philanthropy on similar lines of what is happening in many other parts of the world. We have to think of the long term results rather than the short-term idea of feeding the needy. We have to make it sustainable so that the whole world benefits out of it. Qatar is well known as a leading contributor of charity in the Muslim world and it has to focus on the sustainable aspects of charity." She hoped that the top level people attending the workshop would visualise and implement new methods of philanthropy in their entities.

"This is my contribution to the community through this interactive learning platform. I am sure that all the participating institutes and groups will implement the lessons, learned from the workshop in their organisations," she added.

During the workshop, Professor Paul Palmer from Cass Business School presented a study on philanthropy in emerging economies and suggested that philanthropy was more than giving money to the weaker sections of the society.

He said: "It is empowering a society and providing them with the means to live a better life relying on their potential. There is an increasing awareness about philanthropy in emerging countries which are willing to contribute more to charity in the recent years." Citing the example of India as a case study, Prof. Palmer said that from early 1990s when liberlisation started to take place in India in a big way, there were also many big philanthropy initiatives in the country.

"In India, there was 62% growth in philanthropy institutes from 1991 to today and India at present is the 9th largest economy in the world and big contributor to charity" he added.

Gulf Times Newspaper 2013

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Publication:Gulf Times (Doha, Qatar)
Geographic Code:7QATA
Date:Mar 10, 2013
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