Feeling for the poor

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Feeling for the poor

It is not just a matter of charity, the main objective is to impart the idea of voluntary work to the new generation, help them feel the suffering of the poor, and be effectively involved in serving society.

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Published: Mon 22 Jul 2013, 12:05 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 9:17 AM

These words best describe the nature of the unique work a group of over 70 Emirati volunteers, men and women, young and old, are doing to serve their country.

Though charity work of this group started with just five members, it has now grown into a big society officially registered and based in Dubai under the name: ‘Tarahom (solidarity) Society’.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, chairman of the society Khaled Al Kasim, said all members are Emiratis and they dedicate their year-round charity work for all poor people, mostly UAE citizens.

“We have built, maintained and fixed many houses in addition to buying cars to transport poor people from home to work and back at several areas in the emirates of Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain, Ajman, Sharjah, and Dubai.”

He said the over 70 volunteer members in their society range from the ages of six to 60 years. “We want the new generation to thank God for the endless gifts they have received and see how some poor people are living.”

“Our little children now enjoy the latest technology, but now they see how a poor family of 70 members are living in one house and feeding on one chicken.”

Al Kasim said they first started with donating items in-kind. Now some volunteers have kept apart Dh20,000 from their own pocket money a year to charity projects. “We want to be good citizens, feel the society, and pay back part of the debt to our country which has always been helpful to us.”

Citing an example, he said he bought 100,000 copies of the Holy Quran against Dh500,000 — this is Dh5 for every copy. “I just spread the information with all volunteers through BB, and managed to collect Dh25,000 in just 15 minutes. All we have to do is to think sincerely, and never belittle any charity or voluntary work.”

Al Kasim said they have managed to collect and donate around Dh5 million this year so far, intensifying their work during the holy month of Ramadan. “We have already distributed 1,200 free Iftar meals this month, and are planning to donate 3,000 more, other than 17 pick-ups loaded with charity items.”

Rashid Hamid Al Hamar, member of the Foundation, said they do not simply give donation as is the case with some charity societies. “We rather study the case raised to thoroughly solve it from A to Z.”

He added that they have helped many cases, most recently a Syrian woman who had sextuplets, and could not pay the hospital charges which hit Dh1,200,000.

“We managed to bring down the amount to Dh500,000 and pay the amount in full. Most importantly some philanthropists have decided to take care of the women and her children for one full year.”

“Actually, we want the new generations to be effectively involved not only in charity but also voluntary work. We want them to be fully independent and take the initiative for the benefit of the whole society.”

The society also studies other complicated cases which need more help. “My 11-year-old son is accompanying me in all charity trips. I want him to feel how the poor are living, and love to give and help others. This is the real happiness.”

ahmedshaaban@khaleejtimes.com



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