Support third-world entrepreneurs
Kiva is a non-profit micro-loan organisation that links potential lenders with impoverished entrepreneurs who need a short-term loan. There are borrowers from all over the world, including 29 from Arab countries, who need money for various investments, such as a sewing machine, carpentry tools, or stock to set up shop. Shereen Mitwalli, TV presenter and Kiva ambassador, says, “Kiva is one of the most amazing charity platforms I have seen to date. These people aren’t looking for handouts. They are entrepreneurs who want to be independent so they can support their families and communities, which I totally admire and support. It's amazing to help people who are trying to be something.”
DO IT Visit www.kiva.org. The minimum lend is Dh90. When your loan gets re-paid, lend it out to another borrower.
Paint special needs’ schools
Volunteer In UAE is giving two special needs’ centres a facelift this Ramadan by swooping in to give them a fresh lick of paint. They need around 200 volunteers for each project. Lola Lopez, founder of Volunteer In UAE, and her teams will be at Dubai Autism Centre in Satwa from July 27 to August 4, and at SAFE Centre in Jumeirah from August 10 to 18. Lola says,
“All materials will be provided, but extra ladders are always welcome!”
DO IT Visit www.volunteerinuae.com to sign up.
Buy a dress
ValleyDez Fashion Boutique is offering a Ramadan range of kaftans, gowns and abayas. For each item sold from the range, the designers will donate Dh100 to the Dubai Centre for Special Needs (DCSN) and ValleyDez will match that donation. The stores are also selling Ramadan greetings cards for Dh20 and the proceeds will also go to DCSN. Noor Badaro, buyer and creative executive at ValleyDez, says, “There’s no better occasion than Ramadan to encourage contributing to our local community. We are taking baby steps and are thrilled that all our designers are joining in on this humble gesture. We are certain our customers will have an even more enjoyable shopping experience this Ramadan knowing that with every purchase they are helping to make a difference.”
DO IT Check out the range of kaftans and abayas at the ValleyDez stores in Wafi and Sunset Mall. For details, visit www.valleydez.com.
Buy a labourer a meal
The Karama Kanteen, which offers free food to labourers and other Dubai residents in need, is running a special Ramadan programme where people can purchase an iftar meal for a labourer through Dealgobbler.com for Dh15. Purchasers will be able to pay by card, or by cash. Cash payments will be collected by the Deal Gobbler team. Volunteer In UAE is co-ordinating this initiative and, once enough meals have been bought to feed an entire labour camp, they will be looking for volunteers to come in to the Karama Kanteen kitchen at City Chef Catering to help prepare and deliver the meals.
DO IT Visit Dealgobbler.com to buy a meal.
Support our community
Giordano is making a range of T-shirts printed with work by artists at Mawaheb from Beautiful People – an art studio for young adults with special needs. The project marks the launch of Giordano’s corporate social responsibility programme, called GIFT (Giordano Initiative For Talent). Artists at Mawaheb’s Dubai studio were asked to submit entries based on the theme ‘World Without Strangers’. Six pieces of artwork were chosen for the range and printed on 3,000 T-shirts. They are on sale for Dh40 and half of the money is going to Mawaheb.
DO IT Visit any Giordano store across the UAE and pick up a GIFT T-shirt. For details of locations across the country, visit www.giordano-me.com.
Donate toys to sick children
The Candy Cart, which is affiliated with Friends of Cancer Patients, visits the paediatric oncology ward at Dubai Hospital every Tuesday morning, delivering toys, presents and sweet treats to the in-patients. The ward is mainly filled with children who have cancer and are undergoing chemotherapy, but also has children who are suffering from other diseases that require regular treatment, such as dialysis for kidney failure. The children are often there for months at a time and, due to their compromised immune systems, can’t leave the ward. The Candy Cart offers an escape and a glimmer of fun for these children. Dana Al Askari, co-founder of Candy Cart, says, “We have many special requests from the children – iPads, Nintendo DS, PSPs and DVD players – so they can entertain themselves and pass the hours. When it comes to money, people can directly donate to FOCP online and specify it’s for the Candy Cart. Toys’R’Us are sponsoring Candy Cart with toys and games and DVDs. It would be great to have an electronics store to support our initiative, too, so we can give the older children great tech gifts.”
DO IT Next time you are passing the toy shop or the electronics store at the mall, pick up a little something extra for Candy Cart. Visit www.focp.ae for more details.