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The reconditioned uniforms will be distributed to the needy through Dar El Ber Society. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Under the 4th edition of Kiswat Khair humanitarian initiative, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has collected and retrofitted 36,000 pieces of used clothes. The initiative is run in coordination with RTA’s strategic partners namely the Dubai Police, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Civil Defence, DP World, Serco, ENOC and Al Magrudy’s.

The initiative attracted wide participation from people of determination centres namely Rashid Centre for People of Determination, Al Noor Rehabilitation and Welfare Association for People of Determination, Dubai Autism Centre, Dubai Centre for Special Needs, Awladouna Centre for People of Determination, Dubai Club for People of Determination, and Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination.

“The 4th edition of Kiswat Khair initiative has reconditioned 36,000 used uniforms with the participation of 245 volunteers who completed 555 volunteering hours in the recycling of used attires, which will be distributed to the needy through Dar El Ber Society.

“This year’s edition of Kiswat Khair initiative is different in terms of the participating in the collection and recycling of used clothes by engaging participants of different centres from the people of special needs across the UAE. RTA concerted with the said centres to attract and encourage to promote the initiative spirit and volunteering in charitable activities. The next steps will focus on processing uniforms and turning them into usable uniforms which will be sorted out, cleaned, tailored, repaired and pressed before being packed properly,” explained Al Mehrizi.

Value of charitable work

Mariam Othman, Director, Rashid Centre for People of Determination, said: “This initiative reflects the spirit of goodness in the Emirati society, and the Kiswat Al Khair initiative is an episode of charitable activities employed to support brothers in poor and developing countries. Our participation in this initiative aims to further the value of charitable work in our students of people of determination. We believe that they are an integral part of the local fabric, and therefore perceive their participation together with the centre in this initiative as a reflection of the UAE’s attention in this regard.”

Majid Al-Usaimi, President of the Asian Paralympic Committee, Chief Executive Officer of the Dubai Club for People of Determination, said, “Organising humanitarian community initiatives constitutes a key part of RTA’s attention and efforts to promote community partnership and consolidate community values. The participation of people of determination in this initiative achieves many goals. It invests in initiatives and capabilities of this category by reconditioning clothes of many government agencies and distributing them to poor countries. It is particularly relevant as it uses the creative skills and talents of people of determination participating in the initiative. We all strive to strengthen such community partnerships and interact with community sectors to preserve the gains achieved from such important initiatives, which add to humanitarian and charitable work and provide an assistance to poor countries.”

Dr Mahshid Salehi, Director of Dubai Centre for Special Needs expressed her gratitude for receiving RTA visitors at the centre. “We value the community’s support for Dubai Centre for Special Need as a non-profit organisation. We, believe that together, we can build the path towards a brighter future for the children of the Dubai Centre for Special Needs,” said Salehi.

Khalid Al Halyan, Chairman of Al Noor Rehabilitation and Welfare Association for People of Determination, said, “The initiative demonstrated the abilities and talents of students at Al Noor Rehabilitation and Welfare Association for People of Determination in converting unused fabrics into high-quality products such as (bags, masks, jewellery, carpets...etc). We have noticed the ability of our students to show a mass production capacity and work as a team taking part in different stages according to their respective abilities.”

Sewing workshop

Mohamed Saif Husain Alareifi, Director of Agricultural and Vocational Rehabilitation Department, Zayed Higher Organisation for People of Determination, said, “The cooperation between the organisation and all entities is the key driver to reaching the goals and serving the People of Determination. The People of Determination who took part in the sewing workshop at the Zayed Higher Organization have contributed to the sewing of 1,000 pieces of recycled clothing. Clothes included pillowcases, trousers, shorts, small bags, and large bags produced from bits of small bags.”

Abdullah Balouma, Director of General Services and Administrative Affairs at the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), said, “Social aspects and development are integral to the roles of the DHA, and we are therefore keen to take part in such efforts as we believe in their value to the society.

“Kiswat Khair is an excellent initiative that reflects the values of giving, charity and responsibility that characterise the Emirati society and the DHA is keen to be part of such charitable and humanitarian efforts. Kiswat Khair brings together several government departments, which is a goal itself as it reflects the fruitful cooperation and partnerships between Dubai Government units to serve the community and make people’s lives easier.”

Social responsibility

Laila Abbas, Director of Corporate Marketing and Relations, Dubai Municipality, said, “We are very happy to engage in real efforts with various parties, be it individuals, establishments or governmental institutions, as such activities constitute the real building blocks needed to make meaningful efforts with the support of all benefactors. This support stems from the Municipality’s social responsibility towards the community in the UAE and overseas.

“This initiative demonstrates the Municipality’s support and care for children and please them, which is a cause of bringing happiness to adults as well. Through taking part in this initiative, the Municipality seeks to bring joyful moments in the life of orphans and the needy. This step adds to Dubai Municipality’s record in supporting charitable projects and showcasing its commitment to this vital aspect. It is also a manifestation of the Municipality’s efforts to enhance communication and constructive interaction with the community,” she noted.

Major Dr Ahmed Yousef Al Shanqiti, Director of Government Communication, Civil Defence in Dubai, said, “The participation of the General Directorate of Civil Defence in Dubai contributes to supporting humanitarian efforts to help the needy in poor countries through capitalising on volunteer efforts to recondition and process uniforms.

“The initiative supports the plans aimed at consolidating the spirit of volunteerism among all segments of society, launching humanitarian and social initiatives and inviting others to be part of them. The General Directorate of Civil Defense in Dubai seeks to diffuse the culture of volunteering and supports all forms of social solidarity and cooperative spirits through volunteer teams. Such a drive consolidates the directives of our leaders to support volunteer work based on solidarity and societal cohesion that characterise the people of the UAE. It is an episode of adherence to the principles and values of the national identity and adds to the UAE’s record of achievements in humanitarian and volunteering efforts,” continued Al Shanqiti.

Anayah Abulhoul, Buying and Marketing Consultant, Managing Partner at Magrudy Enterprises LLC, said, “This innovative initiative promotes sustainability, recycling, and community spirit for a charitable cause, which greatly aligns with our organisation’s key values. We are excited to share this with the educational institutions we work with to encourage students to get involved by donating their old uniforms, which will then be recycled and turned into suitable attire before being distributed to countries in need.”