Sponsors pay SR400,000 arrears to housemaids

Updated 21 December 2014
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Sponsors pay SR400,000 arrears to housemaids

Saudi sponsors in the capital last month paid SR400,000 in money owed to housemaids being held at the government’s detention centers, Arab News has learned.
Now that they have received their money, they can be sent home. They were handed over to the government after running away from their Saudi sponsors because of alleged financial and physical abuse.
Maids working in Saudi Arabia are mainly from Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia and Somalia.
Sri Lankan Consul General in Jeddah, Atham Bawa Uthuma Lebbe, told Arab News that once the maids are handed over to the detention centers, the mission’s responsibilities are over.
“The officials at the detention centers are kind enough to negotiate with the Saudi sponsors to get the maximum sums legally due to the poor housemaids.”
He said there has been a drop in the number of runaway maids arriving at the Jeddah mission recently, mainly because maids now fear they have to pay back the recruitment fees spent by their sponsors.
Previously the Jeddah mission dealt with more than 100 runaway maids a month, but this has now fallen to fewer than 10. Recently a labor court in Jeddah ordered that two runaway housemaids pay SR25,000 each for them to be deported to Colombo, their hometown.
Uthuma Lebbe said that a Saudi sponsor spends more than SR20,000 to get a maid from Colombo. “How can he recover the money if the maid runs away from the household in this manner?” This total includes SR5,000 paid to the maid, visa fees, agent fees and the airfare.
Last year, 15 Saudi sponsors filed cases against Sri Lankan housemaids who ran away from their homes in the Eastern Province.


Saudi Arabia's Disabled Children’s Association continues campaign to complete ‘Khair Makkah’ project

Updated 46 min 43 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia's Disabled Children’s Association continues campaign to complete ‘Khair Makkah’ project

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Disabled Children’s Association (DCA) continues its efforts to complete its charity investment project “Khair Makkah,” located within the the borders of the Grand Mosque in Makkah’s Al-Naseem district.
DCA works to help maximize the quality of life for disabled children in Saudi Arabia.
The association explained that the first phase of this philanthropic project, which is expected to be completed next year, will cost SR180 million and will include two towers constructed over an area of 5,700 square meters.
The revenues from the rentals of both towers are expected to cover the expenses of two out of 11 service centers spread across the Kingdom to benefit handicapped children in Riyadh, Jeddah, Taif , Madinah, Assir, Hail, Al-Jawf, Al-Ras and Jazan.
Almost 80% of the construction work of the first phase has been completed and is expected to be submitted by mid next year. The project’s revenues, expected to be 5%, will cover the expenses of several disabled children care centers.
DCA is encouraging philanthropists to participate in completing this mega project on its deadline by sending text messages for donations to number 5050.
It will provide a permanent source of support for operation expenses and other free specialized services for around 4,000 children yearly, especially in light of the remarkable growth in its annual operating budget, which reached SR120 million.
According to the association, the total amount of sukuk for the “Khair Makkah” project amounted to about SR180,000, 147,000 of which were subscribed, while 33,000 are remaining sukuk. The value of one Suk is SR1,000. A further SR33 million is needed to complete the project.