Dubai: A single Filipina mum, who hasn’t met her daughter in six years, wanting to bring her over to Dubai for Christmas; an Indian who aspires to help a farmer clear his debts; a Pakistani who dreams of building a house for his parents – these are amongst the thousands of wishes being aired by UAE residents on an online forum in the hope that they will be fulfilled as a unique Ramadan initiative gets underway.
Called WU Wish and launched by international money transfer house Western Union, the campaign has had a huge response, its Youtube promotional video garnering over a million views so far. Among the video’s protagonists are a Bangladeshi worker who longs to bring his wife to Dubai to ride the Metro; a Nepali who hopes his job here will enable his sister become a teacher back home and an Indian expat who wants money to get his daughter operated.
Western Union, which took upon itself to fulfill their wishes, awarded them Dh10,000 each, besides travel vouchers of an equivalent amount. By the time the campaign ends on July 12, 10 others will be selected through a lucky draw so their fond dreams could turn into reality.
Marc Aubry, Western Union’s vice-president, marketing, said: “WU Wish mirrors why people remit money to friends, family and loved ones. There is always a reason and a story. Most people who send money home typically do it for someone else’s welfare. These remittances are often accompanied by great personal sacrifice.”
Participation in the campaign is open to all residents. “Just about anyone can nominate a wish, and hope to have it fulfilled – they don’t have to be Western Union customers or make remittances to qualify,” said Aubry.
Not surprisingly, the winners in the promotional video are on Cloud Nine.
Bangladeshi M.D. Habibur Rahman said: “I was on Dubai Metro and talking to my wife. She asked me how come there was no noise. When I told her that Dubai Metro neither makes noise nor has a driver, she could not believe it. So I wished she could visit Dubai at least once and experience Dubai Metro for herself. Now I can’t believe that my dream has come true.”
Similarly, Gulab Nabi Khan, who received the Western Union award to pay for his daughter’s operation, said: “My younger daughter has been unwell since birth and needs an operation. She is in pain. When she cries, the whole family cries. Now that I have the money for the operation, I can’t wait to go home.”
Nepali Jeevan Nath too is also eager to visit his sister. “With the money I have received, I will be able to do so much for my sister. I want her to be the most educated woman in our village.”
The wish list of others in the ongoing campaign is diverse and includes such entries as “tablets for the children” and an “iphone for my super best friend”.
For more details about the campaign, go to www.wuwish.com