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Left Calista Joseph right Jovia Jose - two girls who gave up their birthday to instead spend money on serving iftar to 650 workers Image Credit:

Dubai: The birthday wish of two nine-year-old girls came true on Saturday when they and 20 friends served iftar to workers in a labour accommodation in Muhaisnah.

Instead of a joint party and lots of presents, Al Diyafah School students Calista Joseph and Jovia Jose decided to forego celebrations on May 11 — the date they share as their birthday — and instead spent that money on helping others.

The concept caught on and Calista’s parents Felix and Carol, originally from Mumbai managed to help the girls raise Dh6,500 from friends and family to serve 650 workers iftar.

“Instead of people paying too much money on gifts for the two of us we said we don’t need gifts just give us the money to contribute,” said Jovia.

Calista agreed: “We want to contribute because so many people don’t get anything, so instead we thought the money for gifts we get every single birthday would be better spent on giving people more food and attention.”

Jovia added: “We were happy when we saw their smiles, it was great to see their joy.”

“Even though we don’t know them we should help them like they help us in return,” said Calista.


raised from friends and family to serve workers on iftar

Calista’s dad Felix, 38, said: “We are very blessed living in Dubai and our children are very fortunate, but it’s important for them to help others and see the realities, so that they know who it is that makes their lives so comfortable.

“It’s nice to know that when you have good friends and a good concept everyone will jump in and help, without teamwork I don’t think this would have been possible,” he added.

Rama Krishnan, 52, the admin manager of the Blue Diamond General Maintenance workers accommodation in Muhaisnah where the iftar was served, said: “We are very thankful to our distributors, it’s nice to see the children come here and serve us, it’s the first time we’ve seen such a thing.”

Cleaner Adnan Abu Salah, 26 from Uganda agreed: “We warmly welcome them and I wish they also get the same rewards they are giving us.

“It’s a nice experience for them to gain experience helping their fellow human, our generation will pass but their generation will not stop helping future generations.”

Calista’s mum Carol, 40, said: “This was such a success, we will definitely look to do it again next year with more kids and more workers, we might not be able to do it every day of Ramadan, but it would be great to inspire others to do the same.”

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Kids serve workers iftar at the Blue Diamond General Maintenance workers accommodation in Muhaisnah on Saturday