The Government’s interest in orphans. Kuwait dates back to 1938. In 1959, the Ministry of Justice established a department for this purpose before it became an independent body concerned with minors and guardianship of minors (who have no guardians) and those who are incapacitated or cannot protect their money and their property, and to supervise their guardians who are entrusted by the court in addition to administering the funds.
The state has also taken an early interest in the issue of the endowments provided by people for charity work like houses, shops and buildings whose revenues are spent on the care of mosques, sacrifices and meals for the poor and helping them with their needs.
The Awqaf (Endowment) Department was established in 1921 and it took upon the responsibility of the establishment of controls and regulations to ensure the development of the endowment in all its aspects.
By time, the Department began to manage all the state mosques before it came under the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs. In 1993 a general secretariat was established as a self-governing body to care for the affairs inside and outside the country as well as to manage the endowments funds.
Because of the relatively fragile nature of the funds of the minors and the Waqf (endowment), it was therefore not strange that the work of these two entities was too noisy especially with regard to their investments.
It was not strange that there was a fierce conflict between the politicized religious parties as to who would manage these two entities because of the money in their possession.
Many secretaries general had ‘swallowed’ a few million dollars before quietly disappearing from the scene and enjoying what they had looted.
The subordination of these two bodies, Justice and Endowments into one ministerial portfolio, naturally spoiled the religious parties because they found in difficult to get the slice of the cake.
Although the work of these two parties was largely investment it is regrettable or natural to note that it is rarely managed by a financial expert. It was the appointment of the most loyal from the religious political party which controls the ministry and not based on appointing the most efficient, and this was the reason why many of its decisions are improper or unproductive.
In a recent ruling of the Court of Appeals overturned the verdict of the lower court and appointed a Kuwaiti mother as guardian of the money of her minor children instead of the Public Authority for Minors Affairs.
This ruling confirms the repeated failure of these authorities and the court saw that the mother is often more careful to manage the property of the minors than the government administration which did not fulfill its duty as it should have and the mother proved to the court the violations committed by the concerned administration in all matters related to the rights of her children.