Baitkum Baitna - Bahrain

Your Home is Our Home

Baitkum Baitna Project of Ayadi Relief Organization

Article from E-IAVE January-February 2015:

The “Your Home is Our Home” (Baitkum Baitna) Project of the youth-led Ayadi Relief Organization combines volunteering, competition, and professional support to renovate homes and support families in need in Bahrain. Under the slogan of ‘’Uplifting spirits, Face lifting houses’’ four competitive volunteering teams each restore one home during a five-week session.

Ayadi Relief emphasizes the need to deliver assistance in an interactive approach that is not confined to renovating, restoring and repairing the physical elements of the house. It also reaches out to involve the residents of the house in the change process, addressing their problems, and helping them discover talents and areas in their lives that they could build upon to enhance their standard of living and quality of life. This may include assistance in finding jobs and university scholarships, motivational help for students, and professional help for disabled individuals.

The houses are carefully selected with three main criteria:

  1. The house must be owned by the family living in it.
  2. The house must not be eligible for the Ministry of Housing’s renovation project.
  3. The house must be in a safe neighborhood where the teams can visit freely and safely on a daily basis.

Volunteer registration is open for 24-48 hours before the session begins. Potential volunteers (21+ years of age) complete an online application form and then are interviewed and selected on the basis of commitment, flexibility, and team work ethics. Chosen volunteers are grouped into teams of 10-12 people each.

The teams are gathered for an induction meeting that includes a detailed presentation on the competition’s rules and requirements, responsibilities, and time frame. The teams are given 500 BD (1326 US$) as seed money and a startup kit. Each team may collect additional monetary or in-kind donations, but all cash donations not used must be returned to the organization for the next session.

After a week of orientation and planning, the team has four weeks to work on the house, during which time the Baitkum Baitna team introduces 3-4 surprise elements. For example, the first team to arrive at x location will receive a cash donation of x amount or a new kitchen or bedroom free of charge. On the sixth week, the judges visit the houses and the final ceremony takes place, which includes short video, presentations by the teams, and the announcement of the winning teams in each criterion.

 The teams are assessed on:

  • Excellence in the performance of the work
  • Creativity during the work and in the outcomes
  • Technical work
  • Media distinction
  • Organization and teamwork
  • Financial management
  • Interior design

Since the project started in 2013, Ayadi Relief Organization has organized five competitive sessions that have resulted in the restoration of 24 houses, engaging more than 500 Bahraini volunteers in all the stages of the project.  Click here for more information and the full project booklet.

There is a magazine article on the project online from 2013:  http://womanthismonth.com/building-dreams/ .

You can view or download the full project booklet in Arabic or English from Dropbox.