Dubai-based charity arranges free air tickets for 44 stranded Ghanaians
Dubai - The group - all from Ghana - were found sleeping at a park in Satwa.
By Saman Haziq
Published: Fri 17 Jul 2020, 9:58 PM
Last updated: Sat 18 Jul 2020, 8:59 AM
Tears of joy streamed down as 21-year-old Ghanian national Naomi Doughan looked at the air ticket handed over to her by a representative of Dubai based charity Dar Al Ber Society (Dabs).
Naomi is one of the 44 lucky Ghanaian nationals who received free air tickets and a goodie bag by the Dabs on Thursday at a ceremony held at its headquarters in Dubai.
"I have been here just for a few months but the love and care of the people of the UAE has won me over. I am grateful that the Dabs took care of me and my fellow stranded Ghanaians like our own family and arranged for our safe return to our country. I had no money and was clueless on how to go back home and my family was very worried about my wellbeing. But since the charity organisation stepped in, they made us feel at home and arranged everything free of cost," she said.
The group - all from Ghana - were found sleeping at a park in Satwa when the Dabs was alerted of their plight. The charity organisation arranged for accommodation, daily meals and now free air tickets to repatriate them to their home country.
"Last month, we came to know of some stranded Ghanaians - homeless and without jobs or financial support due to the pandemic lockdown. We raised money for their food, accommodation and air tickets so they could go back to their home country," said Dr Hisham Al Zahrani, manager of the zakat department at the Dabs.
All the 44 Ghanaians, including seven women, will fly out of Dubai International Airport today on a special repatriation flight by Emirates Airline. The Dabs has also arranged a free Covid-19 test for all those boarding the repatriation flight and helped them get the required clearance from police and immigration. Two buses will transport them from their accommodation to the airport.
Emanual C, who had been in the UAE for the last one year and had lost his job in March due to the pandemic, said: "My three children cannot wait to see me. I have been living it rough for the past three months until the Dabs came to our rescue and gave us a comfortable place to live in. They treated us like guests and supported us in the best way possible. Today, they have given us the biggest gift and that is the air ticket to go back home and be with our families."
Free eye surgery
Expressing his gratitude to the charity, Ghanaian Ibrahim Bonkano said he would "never forget what the Dabs had done for him".
Apart from the stay and free flight ticket, the charity also arranged for emergency surgery for a clot that Ibrahim had developed near his eye. "For the last six months, I could feel a clot kind of growth near my eye but since I didn't have enough money to show to a doctor, I let it be. The result was a painful and huge clot near my eye that had forced my eye shut. Dabs took the pain of getting my surgery done under its supervision and seeing to it I am absolutely fit and fine when I return to my loved ones back home. I can now open my eyes and see clearly and I am eternally grateful."
The 44 Ghanaians are expected to land on their home soil Accra, Ghana at 1.35pm local time today.