SERVING SOCIETY WITH A PASSION

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She realised her calling to serve those in need and bring about positive change in their lives. Meet Karen Tenant, the chairperson of the Palm Association.

When and how did you get associated with the Palm Association?
A friend was on the Committee and invited me to a fundraising event in May of 2013. That evening I spoke with the then chairman and asked if they needed any more volunteers and I was invited to join the committee.

Was social service a calling for you?
Yes—I feel it’s very important to get involved in the local community to help those less fortunate.

Trace the history of the Palm Association and how you came to be a part of it.
The Palm Association was founded in 2000 by expatriate ladies who had lived in Bahrain for a number of years and who wanted to give back to the community. It started with just a handful of ladies purchasing and delivering food parcels to a small number of families. We now support 155 families each month with our Feed-a-Family project with the help of a local company who now deliver the parcels for us. Like most of the Committee members I became involved through a friendship with someone already involved.

Tell us about projects that have been created or executed under your leadership.
It’s a difficult time for all charities and during my leadership the committee and I have been working really hard to maintain the funding for our Feed-a-Family project, we have committed to supporting these families and can’t let them down.

Which projects by the Palm Association has been the most successful and how?
Feed-a-Family is our most successful programme. From 20 families initially, we now support 155 families.

Do you have any project specifically for kids and youngsters?
We support the families not just kids and youngsters.

What have been the major obstacles so far?
Lack of funding. We rely solely on donations from individuals and companies and it is getting harder and
harder to raise funds.

What, according to you, are the basic needs of the people that Palm Association works for?
The families we support have very little or no income in which they can feed or clothe their children.

What major projects has Palm Association planned for the future?
In an ideal world we would like to increase the number of families we support – everything we do is
dependent on funding. We know there are families out there that need our support but we don’t have the funding.

What is your message to the people of Bahrain who want to help the society in some way?
My message would just be get in touch, via Facebook or our website which has our contact information. We desperately need resources, both manpower and funding. We are a small committee and we would be able to do so much more if we had the people to help.