Dubai: 500 volunteers pack 7,000 school essentials for low-income families

Separate stations were made for the packing of boys’ and girls’ essentials at the drive


SM Ayaz Zakir

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Photos: Neeraj/KT
Photos: Neeraj/KT

Published: Sat 19 Aug 2023, 4:21 PM

Last updated: Sun 20 Aug 2023, 2:12 PM

Most UAE residents look forward to their weekends to be able to catch some shut eye and fulfil their social obligations, however, others indulge by volunteering for a noble cause.

As many as 500 volunteers made their way to Jafza One Convention Centre in DP World, Jebel Ali to pack 7,000 packets of school essentials for families that fall under the low-income category in the UAE.

On World Humanitarian Day, Dubai Cares in collaboration with the DP World organised a ‘Back to School’ initiative to donate educational items for students across Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, and Ajman. Thirteen essentials including pens, pencils, markers, notebooks, school bags, pouches, and much more were packed in a box by the volunteers.

Separate stations were made for the packing of boys’ and girls’ essentials at the drive and a station was also put up for unisex products.

“The items were segregated for boys and girls based on the colour, designs, and patterns at two different stations,” said Abdulla Ahmed Al Shehhi, chief operating officer of Dubai Cares.

“After filling up these boxes, they will undergo quality control which will be done by the volunteers so that every child receives products of the highest quality,” said Al Shehhi.

These boxes will then be handed to a few charitable organisations, who will then distribute these boxes to the beneficiaries within the next week.

Al Shehhi said also said that the partnering charitable organisations have identified low-income families in the country and have registered them, will receive these items. “We do not have our branding, logo, or any branding of any of our partners. Every product inside the package is in its original form. The donations will be done discreetly as preserving the dignity of the beneficiary is very important to us,” said Al Shehhi.

The required number of volunteers for this event was just 100, but Al Shehhi said that they received an overwhelming response. “These volunteers are our soldiers and we are truly thankful for their precious time.”

Volunteers leave behind weekend chores

Nadia Khunji, a senior officer of learning and development, at DP World, has been a volunteer for a couple of years now and was up and ready to help with packaging at around 7 in the morning. “Weekends are for family, but when volunteering rings my bell I am always up for it. Giving your time to people whom you don’t know at all, who will be benefitted in some way brings me peace and satisfaction,” said Khunji.

“I have been marketing volunteering to my colleagues, friends, family members, etc. But the moment one realises the happiness you get with it, one will hunt for ways to volunteer,” added Khunji.

Shalin Kaladharan is another volunteer who had been associated with Dubai Cares for the last 10 years. A sales manager by profession, he reached the event early morning. “Such events make up feel how privileged we are. I have come here with my friends here who loved being involved in social responsibility,” said Kaladharan.

“Volunteering is my passion, it comes effortlessly. Early mornings on weekends, I go trekking and outdoor activities, but this Saturday was booked for this activity,” said Kaladharan.


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