Children stocking a Ramadan sharing fridge with drinks and fruits for the needy. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: This Ramadan, Dubai will miss its popular Ramadan Sharing Fridges. The colourful fridges that appear around the city during the Holy Month, stocked with essential food and drinks for the less fortunate, have been a great way for residents to get involved with the spirit of Ramadan.

Children and families wait for the fridges to come up in and around neighbourhoods and in schools and residents take turn to stock and replenish it with fresh food, vegetables and drinks.

The initiative started in 2016 with 80 fridges when UAE residents, Anna Arzua Macmillan and Fikra Yel decided to find out a unique way of serving the community. The Dubai based initiative, under the umbrella of the Emirates Red Crescent and IACAD (Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department), has grown since then and last year recorded more than 200 such fridges.

Volunteers with the sharing fridges
Volunteers with the sharing fridges Image Credit: Supplied

But this year, with coronavirus precautionary measures requiring us to stay home, and the National Sterilisation Programme in progress, the initiative has decided to keep the fridges closed.

“We all must follow the guidelines and adhere to the restriction of movement, travel, and the need to maintain social distancing so that we can fight the COVID-19 pandemic together. Considering the structure of our initiative, which is a community initiative that promotes coming together during Ramadan to support the Ramadan Sharing Fridges, it’s unfortunately impossible to go ahead this year. So with great sadness, we have to decide to keep the fridges closed this year. We would like to ask everyone to please carry on the spirit of the Ramadan Sharing Fridges, of sharing food and drink with the less fortunate during Ramadan and support initiatives like The 10 Million Meals campaign launched under the umbrella of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives,” said Anna Arzua Macmillan, one of the founding members of the initiative. .

The initiative has been a beautiful way that community members of Dubai have shown love and appreciation for each other, demonstrating how little acts of kindness have a positive effect on other people’s lives both during and beyond the Holy month of Ramadan. Macmillan says the RSF was an easy way for the community to give back and show their love. “It had a simple structure for us to support the community workers. For kids, it has been a great opportunity to understand values like gratitude, and sharing. I feel around this project we actually have had the oppprtunity to come together with neighbours and get to know each other.”

Expressions of art as well as goodwill 

NAT 200422 EN Ramadan Sharing Fridges-1587812603678
Last year graffiti artists gave the fridges a whole new look Image Credit: Supplied

Last year street graffiti artists gave the fridges a new lease of life by spraying them with colour, generating a lot of love from residents on social media.

The initiative in its social media pages has stated, “We invite you to keep your hearts open this Ramadan. It is now even more important that we come together as one community to support each other and the most venerable people in our community.”