Abu Dhabi: With the participation of more than 270 volunteers of different nationalities from all segments of society, the Emirates Foundation, which supports volunteering programmes and projects, recently launched the ‘Joy of Eid’ initiative to distribute more than 5,000 pieces of clothing to children.
At Al Qana in Abu Dhabi, the volunteers ensured the clothes they were steam-cleaned, ironed and perfumed before being displayed at the exhibition for families. The exhibition allowed beneficiary families to select their own Eid outfit from the wide variety of clothing available for both genders of different ages.
Supported by the Emirates Foundation’s ‘Takatof’ programme, the voluntary initiative celebrated an inclusive and cohesive society rooted in the values of generosity and solidarity.
Commenting on the initiative, Mohanna Al Muhairi, Chief Operations Officer of Emirates Foundation, said: “We at Emirates Foundation are committed to fostering a culture of volunteering in the UAE that aims for the betterment of our society. This is in line with the vision of the country’s wise leadership to prioritise the well-being of individuals and ensure a decent life for all segments of society.”
Al Muhairi added: “The ‘Joy of Eid’ initiative extended a hand of generosity and giving to 300 families, aiming to bring joy to them. With total 810 volunteering hours, the two-day event saw an outstanding participation of volunteers who prepared and distributed Eid clothes. We encourage UAE citizens and residents to engage in voluntary efforts that contribute to sustainable community development and promote social cohesion.”
Opportunity to serve
Mohammed Al Abbasi, Senior Project Lead of Takatof Programme at Emirates Foundation, told Gulf News: “The aim of launching the Joy of Eid initiative is to give volunteers the opportunity to provide great humanitarian service to an important group in society, namely children. Volunteers arrange, prepare and perfume clothes and clothes to distribute to needy families who are unable to provide new clothes for their children.”
He added: “The target groups are the category of needy families with limited income, widows and orphans. In fact, we have noticed wide and large contributions from the strategic partners of the Emirates Foundation. When we launched the project, the goal was for the number of beneficiaries to reach 500 individuals. With the launch of the initiative, we had already reached half of this number during the first few hours on the first day. So there is still a high demand for participation in the initiative.”
What volunteers say
Gulf News met volunteers who expressed their happiness and pride in participating in this initiative.
Saleh Ali Al Marzouqi, an Emirati volunteer, said: “When I heard about this humanitarian initiative, I registered my name as a volunteer because I am completely convinced of the importance of volunteering in such events and initiatives that concern the affairs of the needy, especially children and poor families. Here, in this event, I discovered that everyone has an important role to play, and that everyone works for the happiness of children who are unable to be happy like the rest of society’s children.”
He added: “Volunteers have a lot of tasks that they carry out to serve the participants in this initiative. There are those who receive the participants in the initiative, there are those who arrange and distribute clothes, and there are those who deliver clothes and necessary items to children’s homes.
“The initiative is beautiful and wonderful and provides great humanitarian service to the community and to an important group - and they are the category of children. We, the sons of the Emirates, are accustomed to providing charitable works and helping the needy in any humanitarian occasion.”
Month of goodness
Another volunteer, Mohammed Talha Khan, said: “I learned about the launch of the Joy of Eid initiative from a website for volunteers, as I am registered on this site as a volunteer. I always hurry to register when there is a launch of any social or humanitarian project. I learned the details of the Joy of Eid initiative from the volunteer site.”
Khan added: “I am from India, and in my country I had also done voluntary activities. I was active and contributed on many occasions as a volunteer. I used to encourage my friends to participate in such kinds of humanitarian activities.
“When I came to the Emirates, I continued voluntary activities. I feel great joy when I contribute to community service or any individual who needs help. We believe that Ramadan is the month of goodness in which God calls us to do good and help the poor, the weak and the needy.”
Stand with children
Meanwhile, volunteer Yousuf Zain Nofel told Gulf News: “I live in Abu Dhabi and being a member of the volunteer team, I learned about this event through the official website of the Emirates Foundation. I feel happy because for me it is a wonderful and useful experience and brings happiness to my heart because I help the needy with my capabilities and experiences.”
He added: “On an important occasion such as Eid Al Fitr there are many families who need help because they cannot provide for their needs or clothes to their children. There are hundreds of children who are overwhelmed by great sadness because they cannot share the joy of Eid as their parents are helpless and cannot provide Eid clothes for them. These children need someone to stand with them and help them and draw a smile on their faces.”
Nofel concluded: “I did not find any difficulty in participating because the Emirates Foundation provides all transportations and delivery for volunteers and provides us with instructions and instructions for any volunteer event.”