UAE: Student, colleagues hand out over 5,000 'kindness letters' to workers, vulnerable members of society

Teenager inspired to start initiative to foster environment of hopefulness



Supplied photos
Supplied photos
by

Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Wed 24 Aug 2022, 5:19 PM

A 17-year-old student and her colleagues have written and sent thousands of letters of love and kindness to low-income workers and vulnerable members of our community to remind them that they are amazing people, in an ‘old fashioned’ way.

Indian expat Nicole Fernandes, who is joining Year 13 at Dubai Scholars Private School next week, initiated the “Letters of Kindness Drive” where she and a team of 65 youngsters wrote 5,549 letters in total during their summer holiday.

They then went around Dubai distributing these 'kindness letters' to low-income workers, the disabled, people of determination, old people and those who are sick people.

Fernandes says she was inspired to start the initiative after realising that kindness is seldom spread in this world where people are so engrossed with their devices, their work, and their own problems that “you rarely see such acts of kindness taking place in public settings.”

“Today, it has become so hard to say a simple “I love you” or “I’m here for you” to our family, teachers and friends,” she told Khaleej Times. “I really wanted to spread kindness in an ‘old fashioned’ way to remind workers and the vulnerable community around us that they are amazing just the way they are and that their job or physical state doesn’t define their worth!

"Hence, we essentially tried to foster an environment of hopefulness around us through these letters because hope is what we truly need in this uncertain world.”

The Indian teen said she and her team have been distributing these letters since July.

She says they received very positive response after distributing the letters to the underprivileged people around Dubai.

“When we distributed these letters, we were instantly met with feelings of joy and gratitude,” said Fernandes. “I remember giving these letters to a couple of waitresses at a restaurant, and one of them told me that she was having a very stressful day and that the letter instantly uplifted her mood.

"She thanked us immensely and we were honestly blown to see that a simple act of kindness such as this have such a profound impact.”

Fernandes said they have also distributed letters to people in organizations like SFS, Merint Determination Center, Tender Hearts, and 4get-me-not. The team also volunteered to organise a number of activities for people of determination at Merint and Tender Hearts.

In addition to that, the team has facilitated the potential distributions of these letters to people of determination at SNF, Manazil Center, ImInclusive and more in the near future.

“We wanted to remind people that they deserve to stay happy by spreading kindness in the old fashioned way. Anyone can send a text message, but as of today, it has become very hard to even spread kindness with mere words,” said the Indian student.

“And since none of us were travelling on vacation, what better way to spend our summer holidays than by spreading kindness throughout Dubai to the vulnerable communities with our letters, our words and our time.”


More news from UAE