Dubai: Around 750 low-income women are set to get a bag full of hygiene products this Friday, thanks to a group of four Dubai mums running a volunteer page on Facebook.
The ‘Dubai Mums Helping Hands’ group are at it again, bringing hundreds of volunteers together from across the Dubai community through social media to contribute and be part of their campaigns, which always have the welfare of workers at their heart. The UAE has declared 2017 as the Year of Giving.
This time around, the volunteers are surprising women living in labour accommodations with a “deluxe bag” of hygiene products, which include sanitary napkins, shampoos, bath towels, lotion, toothpaste, flip flops and more, in addition to distributing grocery bags containing fruits and vegetables to both male and female workers as part of their healthy food distribution campaign.
Dubai resident and stay-at-home mum Stephanie Sutherland from the United States, who is part of the team running the Facebook page, said mothers, children, and families from different Dubai communities will be visiting two different labour accommodations on May 19 and 26 for the distributions.
“In total, we are going to reach out to 1,500 workers living in Al Quoz and Sonapur labour accommodations, 750 of those workers will be women, who will be getting donated hygiene items in addition to the bag with fruits and vegetables,” she told Gulf News. “We received 4,000 packages of sanitary napkins from the community. We plan on stocking two camps with these for the entire year. This is going to be a huge money saving for the women.”
The aim of the healthy distribution, carried out regularly by the group, is to improve the diets of workers by ensuring that fruits and vegetables are a part of their daily nutrition, she explained.
“Three busses will enter the camps carrying volunteers. So far more than 150 volunteers have confirmed joining and each will be getting 10 bags of fruits and vegetables with them to distribute,” she said.
Over the last year, the group, along with other volunteer members, have helped deliver over 20,000 bags of fruits and vegetables to the labour community.
“We were very surprised of the response we got for the campaign that supports low-income women. Hundreds of people came together to donate towards the hygiene packages and another 15 volunteers gathered on May 15 to package the bags,” she said.
The Dubai Mum’s group said the campaigns were all supporting the smart distribution programme of Smart Life, a registered NGO in the UAE, which aims to support labourers in various ways.
Sutherland says supplying the women with the hygiene packages was more of a solidarity movement. “When it comes to women, we feel for them a lot, and we want to show them that we care about them. As women we have to stick together and show love for one another.”
Kari Troy, also an American stay-at-home mum running the page with Sutherland, said she always thought about helping labourers, but didn’t know how, until she found the group on Facebook.
“People in Dubai are incredibly generous and if you give them opportunity, they will contribute. All the volunteers who have liked the page constantly want to know when we are holding the next campaigns.”
She said sanitary napkins were the largest amount collected for this campaign. “They are something these women need all the time. I know a lot of them have children and they are working here to provide for their children back home. By helping these ladies, they will have a bit more to send back to their families. We want to show them that they are not invisible and we see them and want to take care of them.”
Volunteers can register on the ‘Dubai Mums Helping Hands’ group on Facebook for the next bus ride distribution on May 26.