Dubai: As the countdown for Christmas begins for many residents in the UAE, some expats are marking the festivities by carolling for a cause.
‘Jingles’, as the group has christened itself, in association with Red Crescent and permit from the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (IACAD), will be singing Christmas carols across different venues in the UAE to help raise funds for five young patients, mainly children, suffering from leukemia.
Rajiv David, the Dubai-based founder of the group, told Gulf News, “Being ‘busy’ is a buzzword in Dubai. In spite of possessing a strong desire to “be a blessing”, not only to our loved ones and our children, but also to others who are not as fortunate as us, we often do not find the means or the time to reach out to them. We wanted to change that and do something that would directly impact the lives of those who need the resources to be able to get a shot at life.”
The caroling group, numbering 45, comprises friends and family and includes everyone from professionals to home makers and grandparents to little children, all of whom come together over the weekends for their mission.
Until Christmas, the group will visit residents willing to “be a blessing” for the young leukemia patients for whom timely treatment can mean the difference between life and death.
David’s wife Jessica said, “The cases cut across nationalities and have been picked with utmost care after meeting the doctors and parents of the children in need of help. We are caroling to help Layan Elsayed, 3, from Egypt, who requires around Dh250,000 for her treatment, Xander John, 2, from the Philippines, who needs Dh150,000, Basmala Sameh, 7, from Egypt, who is short of Dh200,000 and Jasmine, 28, from the Philippines who requires Dh100,000 for her chemotherapy.
This, in addition to Dh100,000 for Mohammad Hamza, 4, whose life-long treatment for a rare disease Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome or HUS we continue to support.”
Jingles, whose story was first published by XPRESS, the sister publication of Gulf News way back in 2010 when they launched, has raised a total of Dh789,000 till date and saved the lives of Daujan Al Maty, 4, Ammar Ibrahim Ali, 2, Ismail Aslam, 2, Mohammed Omar, 4, and Emica Sarfaraz, two and a half, all of whom are now completely healed of leukemia.
“They are all living a life just like our own children running, laughing, loving and learning. Hamza who is suffering with HUS has a life-long treatment with one single monthly injection costing Dh30,000,” said David.
Members if the group say the caroling has given them a sense of purpose.
Joyline Dsouza, a senior tax analyst, said, “I have been with Jingles since its inception. We used to do Caroling back home in India and the collection done was given to the needy. Hence, we thought it would be a great idea to spread the same cheer here in Dubai and help those in need.”
Warren Dsouza, a senior accountant who came on board in 2016, said, “When I heard that Jingles was all about saving little children through music, I realised how blessed my family is. This stirred my heart to use my talent for those children who so much deserve to live a happy life with their families.”
Sabita Mathias, a fuel manager , said, “Jingles has been family to me since I joined them. It has helped channel my thoughts and purpose rightly... my first year of caroling greatly fueled my sense of duty to help others.”
How you can join the cause
Besides direct contributions, David said those wishing to be part of the cause can arrange for as many families to be gathered at their homes or offices, so Jingles could come over and sing a lively round of Christmas carols along with Santa Claus. Each round takes around 30 minutes and covers 10 to 12 popular carols that help add to the festive cheer.