Now that it's Ramadan, there is no better time for some self-reflection and self-improvement inspired. Charity is an essential element of living a good and well-rounded life. So get inspired by Shaikh Zayed and help those who are less fortunate and those who do not have the luxuries that we do in life.
Here are ways to make a difference to other humans, animals and to your own life this Ramadan.
Whether they are small changes or more significant donations, this is your guide to being charitable this Ramadan.
Build a perfect shoe box care package
Most labour workers in the UAE live away from their families for several months at a time and don’t have access to many of the life enjoyments that we take for granted. Create several small (shoebox sized) care packages for them. Fill the care package with fresh toiletries, socks, phone credit recharge cards, dates, snacks and bottles of fresh clean water and keep a bunch of them handy, so whenever you leave your house and come across anyone on the side of the road pull over and have one handy. It will make their day.
Distribute water at Iftar time
Bridge the gap between yourself and those less fortunate in the country. One of the important things to do, especially during the hot summer months, is to distribute water bottles to labourers just before iftar time.
Save your leftovers
During Ramadan, the Dubai Municipality collects leftover food and distribute it to poor and needy families. Combat food waste yourself by packing up leftover foods. Feed someone in need by calling the Food Control Department of Dubai Municipality, who will then come and pick up the leftover food, and distribute it to families and individuals in need. The transfer and packaging of food will be done in the safest and healthiest way possible with special vans to keep the food refrigerated. To find out more, visit dm.gov.ae
Fill up Ramadan fridges
Started as a one-off charity act by Australian expat Sumayyah Sayed in 2016, the Ramadan Sharing Fridges initiative has been getting bigger each year since. The fridge is managed by a donor or 'fridge manager', filled up with food and water contributed by donors living in the area. Aimed at workers and labourers who need sustenance at iftar, the fridges offer a means to get free food, juices and water. So make sure you contribute fresh food and juices as well as water to your local neighberhood Ramadan fridge.
Sponsor an orphan
Taking care of an orphan in the UAE is not as difficult as you think. A number of charity centres are responsible for orphans and their well-being and it is their task to manage all funds donated by good samaritans. One charity organisation that offers sponsorship services is the Al Ihsan Charity Centre. Anyone can sponsor an orphan and they have the option of sponsoring children of all ages, from one day old to 15 years old," said Abdullah Al Jaadi, Head of Financial, Managerial and Development Department at Al Ihsan Charity Centre.
Help improve the life of a labourer
A charity known as Adopt-A-Camp is a pretty well established organisation that reaches out to the labour camps in the UAE. So far Adopt-A-Camp regularly helps out 53 labour camps. That means that over 50,000 men’s lives are being made just a little bit easier. Get involved by donating groceries, toiletries, telephone cards or organise a collection. The cool thing is that the Adopt-A-Camp team are very open to hearing about the different ways you can help.
It's important to take the extra effort to be positive, polite and tolerant. Carry this forward in your life and strive to be understanding and tolerant of people or events around you. Be ready to listen and learn as much as you can. Be open-minded to ideas, even if they make no sense to you at first. Tolerance only comes through understanding and acceptance of things that are new or different.
Eat less meat
We should not only be humane to each other, but to animals as well. As responsible human beings, we should consider living a healthier life by eating less animal protein. Regardless of your culture or normal eating patterns. For a start, restrict yourselves to just one or two non-vegetarian meals in a week.
Most of us are extra lucky because our family is alive and well. This Ramadan, be good to yourself by spending more time with those who love you. Resolve to spend uninterrupted and regular time with extended family and friends every month. Doing this brings you a feeling of belonging and support, and also teaches the younger generation about how important relationships are. Your stress and troubles will become bearable when you have supportive and loving people around you.
Donate to the Red Crescent Society of the UAE
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies was launched in the UAE in 1983 and runs humanitarian aid programs around the world. Help change a life of someone suffering and affected by the wars. Visit rcuae.ae or call 800 733.