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On Saturday 12/05/2015, Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar (VCUQ) held an annual event called the Makers Market, which was organized by the VCUQatar Animal Welfare Society and the VCUQatar bookstore. The main aim of this event is raising awareness and fundraising for the local animal shelter and welfare group, Paws Rescue Qatar. With this respectable aim, Hobby Chan was proud to participate in this event as a vendor, among many others.
On Saturday 12/05/2015, Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar (VCUQ) held an annual event called the Makers Market, which was organized by the VCUQatar Animal Welfare Society and the VCUQatar bookstore.
Marsya Karmila, President of the VCUQatar Animal Welfare Society explained, “The Makers Market event is nothing new. It\'s an international trend that we\'re bringing here in Qatar. The concept is simple - to have a bazaar consisting of local creators or makers. This is the 2nd time in VCUQ - it is annual.”
The main aim of this event is raising awareness and fundraising for the local animal shelter and welfare group, Paws Rescue Qatar. Karmila explained, “The goal is to raise awareness on animal welfare. Of course, as a Muslim country, this issue is largely neglected despite the Prophet emphasizing in treating animals well.”
With this respectable aim, Hobby Chan was proud to participate in this event as a vendor, among many others such as: Shaikha Fashion, Unico Designs, Ink Studio, Nawari Collection, Noblesse Couture, Cala Mari, and much more (about 35 vendors in total). Marika Mascarenhas, Vice-President of VCUQatar Animal Welfare Society said, “A lot of them are vendors from Instagram, so they’ve never actually had physically been in a place and sold their products … but they’re willing to do this because of their love for animals.”
The Makers Market included many vendors that sold their own products, most of which were created and crafted by hand. Karmila said, “Majority [of the vendors] are homegrown talents and it is great to see locals involved in this cause because it is their society. A lot of them are also artists and creators including [VCUQ] alumni and students.”
How the fundraising worked, as explained by Mascarenhas, was that “…the vendors pay us QAR 200 for a spot in the market. The money we collect from selling spots all goes to Paws,” and “We also encourage visitors to bring bags of [animal] food, because what we have in VCUQ right now is an ongoing food collection and we get lots of donations from faculty and students. Every week, we continuously send that to Paws.”
Many visitors did indeed donate bags of food, which Beth Clausen, a volunteer at Paws, said is greatly appreciated and does make a huge difference. Clausen explained that Paws is the newest of the three shelters in Qatar. She also explained that the reason why she chose to volunteer at Paws is because of its clear motives and intentions in helping the animals. Although still new, Clausen sees the most potential in Paws, “At Paws, they have a clinic for the animals in the shelter, something the other shelters do not have … They also try to move dogs that do not belong here [fluffy/winter dogs] to other places in the world, something also unique to Paws.”
Clausen also mentioned that just after the event started by a few hours, a dog that lives in the shelter was adopted by an attendee.
Hearing this, Hobby Chan team members were happy to contribute to the Makers Market event and its great cause. We would like to thank the organizers, VCUQatar Animal Welfare Society and the VCUQatar bookstore for the invitation; Hobby Chan will look forward to participating in more events like this in the future as well.