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If your old bag is clean, donate it, students urged

If your old bag is clean, donate it, students urged

‘Saving Grace’ intensifies campaign for collecting school materials to help the less-fortunate kids.

By Olivia Olarte-ulherr/senior Reporter

Published: Tue 30 Jun 2015, 12:42 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:09 PM

Used school bag donation drive intends to create awareness among the students on the importance of recycling unused school bags and other school materials. — Photo by Nezar Balout

Abu Dhabi - It’s a season of giving and students are offered a chance to do some charity during the holy month of Ramadan.

They can now donate their used bags but in good condition to their less fortunate peers.

The initiative, which is part of the Hefth Al Ne’ma (Preservation of Grace) project, was launched by the Emirates Red Crescent which aims to instill values of philanthropy among the youth and their parents.

The used school bag donation drive also intends to create awareness among the students on the importance of recycling and reducing wastage generated from unused school bags and other school materials.

Fact file

> Used school bags donation drive started in 2014

> 789 old school bags received but only 350 in good condition

> 412 pencil case collected

> This year, used school bags are four times the number collected last year

“I would like to ask our students to give your old school bags for other children to use but please make sure that the bags are clean and in good condition,” urged Sultan Mohammed Al Shehhi, manager of the project, which is also simply known as ‘Saving Grace’.

He stressed the importance of “saving” and “giving”.

“Rather than throwing out unwanted items, it is better to save and give them to others who need really them,” he said.

“Some students they change their bags three to four times in a year, at every semester, so the bags are still pretty new and can be used again,” he pointed out.

At the end of the academic year last year, when the drive was launched, a total of 789 school bags were donated, but only 350 were found to be in good condition. About 412 pencil cases were also collected from the schools.

The intensified drive this year at both the public and private schools across the UAE has resulted in better collection with nearly four times the number of school bags donated last year.

“We want to teach students about the proper way of giving and we want them to go to their parents and say this is what we learned in school today. Parents themselves will learn from their children, feel proud of him and (motivate) him further to do good deeds for others.”

According to him, the doors of the Saving Grace project is open to schools or any students who wish to make their donation directly at the centre.

“Come to our place, bring your donation and we will show you how to clean and prepare them for the gift box,” encouraged Al Shehhi.

In addition to school bags, Saving Grace also accepts unused school uniforms. Both the schools bags and logo-free uniform benefit poor students in the UAE and outside the country such as Africa and India.

“If we are going to give people clothes, this should be without logo and this is like a gift as we don’t want to hurt their feelings,” Al Shehhi explained.

Old books

Next year, Saving Grace plans to include old books and papers in their school collections. According to Al Shehhi, the project will partner with a company to collect these for recycling.

 “We wanted to sell the books and paper to recycle, by tonnes, with the (proceeds) to be retained for the project. We are still discussing this with private schools,” he said.


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