Spend time, not just
money: Residents

It is easy to write a cheque or donate money to a cause, but the real work is spending time with those who are less fortunate — which leaders of this country are setting examples of, according to residents of the UAE.

By Staff Reporter

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Published: Sun 28 Jul 2013, 1:22 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 6:20 PM

On the occasion of the first UAE Humanitarian Work Day and the death anniversary of founding father of the nation Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan today (Ramadan 19), residents say that one of the main reasons many of them step into humanitarian work is after the inspirational example set by the Rulers of the nation.

Khaleej Times caught up with a few residents who said that despite the abundance of wealth that they enjoyed, most people understood the importance of giving to those in need.

Greek national Yiannis Vafeas has been a resident of the UAE for the last six years. He said he was “fully” in support of the country’s humanitarian initiatives, as implemented by the Rulers of the country.

“They have set a fine example for all residents here. Apart from corporate social responsibility programmes that my company takes part in, I strongly believe that more than money, it is time that people need to give to those in need.”

He said each year, he tried to donate his time to a worthy cause.

“For example, this year we painted the walls of Manzil Special Needs School in Sharjah. But people can contribute more to a worthy cause by actively being present rather than just spending money. You can visit a special needs school, spend time with workers, prisoners, or just about any cause that will make a difference.”

Indian national Deepika Sitlani said she shared Vafeas’s enthusiasm for the humanitarian cause. She said people had been deeply inspired by the examples set by UAE leaders. “Take the ‘Clothe a Million Children’ initiative, for example. The lives of so many young children across the globe has been touched. And it was something as simple as donating something as simple as clothing, which most of us take for granted.”

She described the actions of those at the top of the country as “truly inspiring”.

“Sometimes we tend to get carried away, especially with the abundance that we are blessed with, but I think if the government takes such initiatives, it will keep the people grounded and humble.”

Sitlani said that such initiatives were particularly needed for youngsters.

Another Indian resident Gaurav Bhatnagar said he thought what the country’s rulers were doing in respect of humanitarian action was “great”.

“They are setting a wonderful example for the communities of people here to do their best. It inspires faith in people and teaches people, especially the younger generation, to give what they have to those who are in need.”

The Emirates twitteratti were also active, commenting about the Humanitarian Day.

@Sajwanization was among those online, who said: “What ShkZayed did for his nation and people #UAE will never forget.”


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