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Workers have a day of fun, thanks to Dubai church

kelly@khaleejtimes.com Filed on September 23, 2017
Workers have a day of fun, thanks to Dubai church
More than 30 workers from Dubai Municipality were present.

(Supplied photo)

Organised as part of the UAE Year of Giving, more than 150 volunteers from Samaritan Ministry Dubai (the social outreach wing of St Mary's Catholic Church) gathered with male and female blue-collar workers from 36 different companies to enjoy 'Salam Dubai'.

On Saturday, when Nepalese cleaner Bikash Thapa Margar was told to be ready for a 9am pick up by his supervisor, he was expecting a full day of work ahead. But Margar was one of 550 domestic workers treated to a day of fun, thanks to a unique initiative hosted by St Mary's Catholic Church Dubai. 

"I thought I was coming here to clean, so it's been a great surprise for me," Margar told Khaleej Times from the Dubai International Bowling Centre.

With four days off each month, Margar said he usually spends his time sleeping, cooking and skyping his wife. But on Saturday, he experienced a different kind of day off - the "best" he has had during his eight months living in Dubai.

Organised as part of the UAE Year of Giving, more than 150 volunteers from Samaritan Ministry Dubai (the social outreach wing of St Mary's Catholic Church) gathered with male and female blue-collar workers from 36 different companies to enjoy 'Salam Dubai'.

All earning less than Dh2,000 a month, the workers were drawn from construction, cleaning, facilities management and fire safety companies.

For seven-year Dubai resident, Manzour Hossein, the day gave a chance to forget any stresses and connect with his friends. "This has been such a good experience for all of us. It has allowed me to re-energise myself so I'm ready for the working week again," the Bangladeshi national said.

Working as a cleaner in Dubai, Hossein and his colleague, Indian expat, Jayasing P.K, said for workers like them, days like these are always welcome. And like many, they hope to see more events pop up like this again in the future.

"My days off are usually spent cooking my food for the week ahead, and mainly sleeping. So to come out and enjoy something like this, with so many different nationalities is a blessing," P.K. said.

From friendly dance-offs to a competitive bowling competition, the workers received free food and drink the whole day as well as spot prizes - from shopping vouchers to flight tickets.

And when the day drew to a close, all in attendance walked away with a 'blessed bag' filled with an array of provisions including a 1kg rice, olive oil, tinned food and hygiene bags, among others.

"The world is going through so much turmoil right now so we wanted to celebrate the UAE and its hard workers by hosting a day dedicated especially for them," one of the lead church volunteers told Khaleej Times.

More than 30 workers from Dubai Municipality were present on the day and spokesman Fahad Albloushi, who joined the workers during a bowling session, said the Year of Giving and events like this are all about empowering the country's "hardest workers".

"Most of them want more occasions like this so it is great to see the community pulling together to make it happen, aside from what the government is doing to reward these workers. 

Fr. Lennie Connully, parish priest of St. Mary's Catholic Church, said his parish will continue to support the UAE community through activities which help bring everyone together.

"St Mary's Catholic Church Dubai is proud to honour the government of Dubai and workers from different sectors responsible for keeping the city of Dubai safe and clean."

kelly@khaleejtimes.com

 

author

Kelly Clarke

Originally from the UK, Kelly Clarke joined Khaleej Times in November 2012. She has a keen interest in humanitarian issues and took over as the dedicated Education Reporter in August 2016. In her spare time she loves to travel off the beaten track, and often write about her quirky experiences of pastures new. Kelly received her BA Honours in Journalism from Middlesex University, UK in 2008. Before joining Khaleej Times she worked as a Supervising Editor for three Healthcare titles in London. @KellyAnn_Clarke


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