Danah Al Ali poses with the children at the school. Image Credit: Nora Al Suwaidi

Abu Dhabi

In support of the UAE’s Year of Giving campaign, six young Emirati children embarked on a humanitarian adventure to Nepal during Eid Al Fitr.

Accompanied by their mothers, they spent five days in Kathmandu at the Sarathi Pathshala, a community-managed school, teaching around 200 children English and Science. They also educated the students on Emirati culture and customs and donated supplies such as pens, pencils, clothes and some sporting items and cooling fans for the school. Some of the donations came from the community members, but most of the items were bought by us.

The group comprised Hamdan and Elyazia along with their mother Danah Al Ali, Abdulla and Rodha and their mother Alia Al Mazrouie, Yasmina Al Harmouzi and her mother Nora Al Suwaidi, my son Khalid Farah and myself.

Seven-year-old Yasmina was the youngest member of our group. It was nice to see how she was so happy and excited about the trip. When we were leaving, she turned to her mother and asked: “When will we come back and help them again?”

Nora, her mum, said: “In order to carry on Sheikh Zayed’s benevolent legacy, the UAE’s President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan declared 2017 as the Year of Giving. We wanted to contribute to this in a way that would be impactful to those we were aiming to support and meaningful to our children at the same time”.

Danah said: “This Eid holiday, while my husband had to work, I decided to do something special with the children. I was able to muster the courage, or mobilise a close-knit group of friends and their children to embark on a volunteering trip to Nepal. We wanted to selflessly give back to the community and demonstrate the power of group work.”

Alia said: “It is important to send the right message to the world about the UAE. We are benevolent and humble people and giving back to the community is an integral part of our national legacy and culture.”

Speaking about his experience, Khalid said: “I loved meeting the children and teaching them English. We sang songs and played football, which was great.”

Alyaziya said: “It felt special teaching the children about our heritage and also providing supplies that will make a difference to their education. I also loved the dancing, as it is one of my passions.”

The group came back from their trip energised and are already making preparations for a return trip to Nepal.


— The reader is the vice president of a Dubai-based company. 


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