Dubai: Money is not the only help you can offer as charity, volunteers prove that sharing of time, skills and knowledge is equally important if not more.
On Saturday, hundreds of volunteers, many of them fasting, gathered to help pack school kits for needy children as part of a ‘Back to School’ campaign by Dubai Cares.
Over the next three days, 2,000 volunteers will gather to pack 50,000 school kits for the annual campaign that is part of the Dubai charity organisation’s mission to empower the future generations through quality education.
The kits, which include note books pencils, pens, and other stationary items, packed in a school bag, will be distributed to 30,000 poor children in Senegal and 20,000 in Zanzibar.
“Giving and contributing to the society is important, whatever it could be. It doesn’t have to be money only. Not every person may have enough money to share, but they may have other things like time,” said Dinny Kurian, a regular volunteer with Dubai Cares.
For volunteers, the experience is as much about learning as it is of giving.
“It’s a year of tolerance and it is Ramadan, a month of giving. It’s the month where we revive our souls and volunteering is an amazing spiritual experience. More than giving, this experiences helps us learn about working together and team spirit,” said Wasim Bin Khadra, a Moroccan banker who participates in the back to school campaign every year with his son.
Emirati student Mahrah Al Sayegh, 18, believes volunteering plays a role in shaping the society and bringing a change.
“What matters is our willingness take part in the development of the society. There are so many ways of helping, it doesn’t have to be money alone, share whatever you can, time skill, knowledge,” said Al Sayegh, a Khalifa University student.
UAE Minster of Community Development, Hessa Bint Eisa Bu Humaid along with Dubai Cares CEO Tariq Al Gurg launched the packing activities on Saturday at Dubai World Trade Centre.
“I am so excited to be part of this initiative which will benefit more than 50,000 poor students in Zanzibar and Senegal. This is a great initiative to equip the students ahead of the new academic year,” said Bu Humaid as she helped pack some of the bags.
Speaking about the importance of volunteering and how it helps make a difference in millions of lives Al Gurg said: “Volunteering is important because it helps soften our hearts. What we are doing at Dubai Cares is trying to instill this in schoolchildren so that they grow up learning to help others and become our future leaders,” said Al Gurg, who is among the builders of the volunteering culture in the UAE with the launch of Dubai Cares volunteering platform more than a decade back.
To take part in the volunteering activities in the country, residents can register with www.volunteers.ae, which has more than 400,000 registered volunteers for various programmes.