Coronavirus Pandemic

Women’s group in Dubai raises Covid-19 aid from recipe book

Saman Haziq/Dubai
Filed on August 12, 2020 | Last updated on August 12, 2020 at 06.52 am
Womens group, Dubai, sells, online recipe book, raise funds, Covid-19 relief

(Supplied photo)

The group also printed a special message on the illustrated online book.

As the world struggled to pass their time constructively during the Covid-19 related #StayHome period, a group of women from Dubai made the most productive use of their time as they believed that 'every dark cloud has a silver lining'.

The volunteer group known as Friends of Emirates Red Crescent, that works under the umbrella of the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) and comprises of 12 women of different nationalities, religions and background, managed to raise Dh17,000 by simply launching a unique online recipe book and donating all the proceeds to the ERC to help those affected by the virus.

Kamu Bhavnani, co-chair of the volunteer group, said: "We were looking for ways to use our time constructively and to help those in need, especially after seeing many suffer in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is when the group's chairperson Zenny Hirji came up with the idea of a unique online recipe book that would see us all (12 members) pen down our tried and tested recipes which were considered "family favourites" and were probably passed down to us from generations."

Each member of the group - in the age group 35-75 years - contributed five of their "family or culture special" recipes that they had been making for a number of years for the book that they titled "From Our Home to Yours - Tried and Tested Recipes".

Bhavnani said: "These are not just any run-of-the-mill recipes but I would call them heirloom recipes that have been passed down the generations. They are easy to make and not the usual, regular recipes one would find online. These are those 'ageless' recipes that are probably famous in someone's culture or household and that have been tried and tested over a number of years. We used the #StayHome time to once again practise and prepare all the five recipes each of us contributed. We then photographed our dishes so that we could show people the real pictures of how the dishes looked."

The group then distributed the e-book for Dh100 and upwards (whatever people deemed fit to pay for the cause) within their circle of friends and asked them to forward it and spread the word about the good cause behind its launch - to help those affected by Covid-19.

Lebanese national and group member Lara Tabet, a TV presenter and luxury brand ambassador, said: "The tragic events around Covid-19 made us all realise that one's greatness is not what he or she has but what he or she can give. We have witnessed so many people who were impacted and so many courageous people willing to serve on the frontlines. We have also seen the great efforts extended by the leaders of the UAE and this fired us all up to want to do our part."

The group also printed a special message on the illustrated online book, where they stated the purpose behind the book launch which, Bhavnani said was "to create an unbroken chain of giving".

Friends of Emirates Red Crescent, which has been granted a special licence by the ERC to raise funds for Covid-related causes, said the money raised is being used by the charity for providing food packages to people who lost their jobs and require financial help; offering medical assistance to those who were suffering with the disease. The charity also used the money to provide shelter to a number of people who were evicted from their houses due to Covid-19 circumstances.

The group has been fundraising in Dubai in different avatars for the last 20 years. Previously, registered as The Children's Hope Foundation (CHF) they are well known in the community for their work supporting children in the areas of health, education and general welfare.

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