INDONESIAN Indonesian philanthropic organization Dompet Dhuafa has been named one of six recipients of this year’s prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award, which honors leadership in solving society’s most intractable problems.
Dompet Dhuafa has redefined the landscape for zakat — the tax on an adult’s wealth that is a cornerstone of Islamic teachings. The organization has become one of the largest philanthropic organizations in Indonesia today in terms of donations received, totaling some US$20 million and reaching 13 million beneficiaries as of 2015, with at least 20 percent of them moving out of poverty, the Associated Press reported from Manila on Wednesday.
One of the organization’s founders, Eri Sudewo, said the award was a victory not only for Dompet Dhuafa but also for other charity organizations throughout Indonesia.
“The real victory is in how we develop a team to sustain the organization,” he told The Jakarta Post over the phone.
“We have enormous potential for charity in Indonesia. Dompet Dhuafa simply cannot do it alone.”
Eri said there were about 100 million people in Indonesia who had a disposable income.
“If a person donates just Rp 50,000 [US$3.80] per month, we will have trillions of rupiah per year,” he said.
“We welcome other charities to help manage the fund to alleviate poverty in Indonesia. Each charity would have its own specialty so they could complement each other.”
The award is regarded as Asia’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize and is named after the seventh president of the Philippines, who served from 1953 to 1957. The awards will be conferred on Aug. 31 in Manila.
Other recipients of the award include Bezwada Wilson, an Indian who led a grassroots movement on behalf of the low-caste Dalit community. Wilson established a people’s movement called Safai Karmachari Andolan (SKA) that helps liberate the community from the imposed duty to manually remove human excrement from dry latrines.
Conchita Carpio-Morales, the Philippines’ ombudsman, or public prosecutor, is also being honored “for her moral courage and commitment to justice” in tackling corruption, one of the most intractable problems confronting the Philippines.
Indian artist Thodur Madabusi Krishna has been chosen to receive the emerging leadership award for “his forceful commitment as an artist and advocate of art’s power to heal India’s deep social divisions”.
The Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers group, founded 51 years ago, sends young adults abroad to volunteer in other communities. The group will be recognized at this year’s ceremony.
Finally, Vientiane Rescue, a Laotian organization, is being awarded for its “heroic work in saving Laotian lives in a time and place of great need, under the most deprived circumstances”.