Yuthar Mahammed Al Rawahi
Hon. Yuthar Mohamed Al Rawahy is a member of the State Council and the founder and former chairperson of The Oman Cancer Association (OCA), the first registered, non-governmental, non-profit organisation at the Omani Ministry of Social Development. She graduated from the American University of Cairo and worked at the college of Medicine in Sultan Qaboos University in the Dean’s Office as the Medical Education Officer from 1961- 2000.
Yuthar is a four times cancer survivor dedicated to advocating for cancer patients and their empowerment. Her organization works to create cancer awareness and acceptance and promotes early intervention though self-examination.
The Dar Al Hanan (Home Away From Home) is a project that provides accommodations for families accompanying ill children who receive treatment at the Royal Hospital in Muscat. Dar Al Hanan caters primarily to families from outside the Muscat Governorate area. The centre provides accommodation, meals and transport to ensure that families are able to stay close to their children during their treatment.
In 2009, Yuthar successfully raised sufficient funds and, with the assistance of WGO donations, the Mobile Mammography Unit (MMU) was launched. The unit travels all over Oman, including the interior with a trained radiographer providing breast screening and education to women on health issues.
After 16 years heading the Charity, Yuthar stood down as Chairperson in 2015 in order to spend more time with her family and currently her husband, Dr. Walid al Kharusi is Chairman of OCA.
Jane Jaffer, primary school teacher from Blackheath, London, came to live in Oman in 1980. In the 1980’s she ran her own nursery school before setting up the nursery at the British School in 1987.
In the 1990’s Jane set up the first woman’s only health spa and ran her own holistic centre for courses, classes and therapies. In 2003 she trained to become a yoga teacher and in 2005 she became a professional therapeutic counsellor.
Jane has written several books including, Women on the Edge, Dana and the Dolphin, Scent of a Rose, Memoirs of an Omani Gentleman from Zanzibar and Love in the Time of Zanzibar.
A strong advocate of children’s literacy, Jane set up the Let’s Read Programme, under the auspices of Dar Al Atta’a, in January 2007. The aim of the programme is to promote the love of reading to children in
Oman. Let’s Read supports reading initiatives in schools and creates playrooms and libraries in hospitals, schools and other institutions.
In December 2013, with WGO sponsorship, Let’s Read set up Maktabati, Oman’s first mobile library. Maktabati visits schools across the country on a daily basis, giving children access to good books and the opportunity to develop a love of reading.
The bus has visited schools in twenty-two regions of Oman including Muscat, the Batinah coast, Dhakhaliya, A Dharira and Salalah. In 2015, with BP Oman sponsorship, the Maktabati team, led by Hatim Al Mamari, librarian, and Hatim al Saidi, the driver, distributed more than 20,000 books to children in Oman.
Dar Al Atta’a handles the Maktabati schedule, while Jane works to raise funds and find company sponsorship. This year Let’s Read will expand the project by setting up a second mobile library. In March 2017 OPAL donated a custom made mobile library bus to the Let’s Read Programme.
In 2014, Jane set up Oman’s first charity book shop. The Let’s Read Book Shop, in the Al Qurum Complex, is staffed by local volunteers. The books are all donated and sold at between 1 – 2 rials. Let’s Read’s aim is to make good books available at reasonable prices. The money raised from selling the books in the book shop helps provide new books for Maktabati.