UAE: 70 university students rebuild house for needy family in Sharjah, bring joy to mother of four

Since its launch in 2009, the initiative has successfully completed 27 renovation projects


Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Tue 7 Nov 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Wed 15 Nov 2023, 3:52 PM

Nada Ahmed had always dreamt of renovating her house, but in between caring for her four children and her mother, it seemed like a distant reality. Now, seventy students from the American University of Sharjah (AUS) have made her dream possible.

Over the course of two weeks, the youngsters painted, furnished, cleaned and decorated the entire house, transforming it into a welcoming home for the needy family.

“I had never envisioned something like this,” said Nada. “The transformation and the joy [the students] have brought into our home is beyond words. Thank you for this ray of hope and the laughter-filled moments.”

For some of the students, it was a life-changing experience. One of them was Judy Debs, a biology major at AUS. "The journey was transformative, granting me a deeper appreciation and gratitude for my own blessings,” she said. “Assisting this family wasn't just a task, but a profound act of beauty and purpose. Despite the challenges, the sense of purpose and incredible teamwork made everything worthwhile. I hope to contribute once more before this chapter concludes."

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Noble initiative

This initiative is part of the Hand in Hand project, led by the university’s Community Service and Outreach office (CSO) in partnership with Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services (SCHS).

“Our project is not just about bricks and mortar; it's about building bridges of hope, community and unity,” said Aisha Ali, CSO Manager at AUS. “To witness the spirit of giving from our students and the joy it brings to families is deeply humbling."

Since its launch in 2009, the initiative has successfully completed 27 renovation projects, all being funded entirely through donations from students and their families and charity accounts.

Mona Abdul Karim Al Yafei, Director of SCHS, commended the volunteer initiative undertaken by AUS students. One of the Nada’s daughter, Tasneem, is a student at Al Wafa School for Capacity Development which belongs to the SCHS.

"The enduring partnership between Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services and American University of Sharjah has a rich history spanning several years,” she said. “It is beyond doubt that this collaboration plays a pivotal role in raising awareness about the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities and their rights. It also promotes volunteerism and firmly establishes social responsibility as a fundamental behaviour and value."

"We encourage both individuals and institutions within our society to wholeheartedly embrace and further develop this commitment. Our aim is for it to become a lasting legacy and cultural tradition, cherished by generations to come.”


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