Three Words That Come to Mind During the Holy Month of Ramadan Are ‘Fasting’, ‘Renewal’ and ‘Reflection’, and Covid-19 Has Made Everyone Do a Little More of the Latter in 2020. What Do I Place Worth on? How Am I Helping Society? These and Other Questions Have Been Brought to the Fore More Compellingly Than Ever.
Ramadan is also a time for doing good deeds, and with everything going on in the world at the moment, acts of kindness go a long way.
Solidarity With the Most Vulnerable
Ramadan was a different experience this year due to social distancing and the various safety measures being taken. Nevertheless, government departments and businesses throughout the emirate rose to the challenge, supporting those most in need with a wide range of initiatives.
The Sahim initiative, for instance, provided necessary food supplies to 400 needy families. In tandem with the community partner, Ro’yati Family Society, this initiative was slightly amended in 2020 due to Covid-19. Usually, boxes are printed and distributed among various entities and individuals, who would then return them to the society for distribution. However, this year families were given shopping cards from Aswaaq, where they could then go and collect their packs.
Jafza, of course, has been at the forefront of Ramadan initiatives, not least through Ramadan Iftar, a programme that provides Iftar meals to all workers living in Jafza staff accommodation. Working hand-in-hand with its community partners, Jafza ensured that 42,000 workers enjoyed fine food and beverage throughout Ramadan.
This enterprise was part of the 10 million meals initiative launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai a few days before Ramadan. This is a shining example of how kindness is merely doing ordinary things with extraordinary love.
DP World, UAE Region’s employees, meanwhile, have been volunteering to help ‘Friends of Cancer Patients’ and student Endeavour ‘Junkbot Robotics’. What was different this year, of course, was that everything was carried out remotely. Benefitting approximately 80 cancer patients, the first initiative saw employees join the DP World team on the Relay for Life App, donating on behalf of the workforce.
‘The ‘Junkbot Robotics’ scheme saw an online robotic championship created to raise awareness on how to fight Covid-19. This allowed DP World employees with a good background in robotics to help students enrolled in the championship to build projects related to awareness and prevention.
It is acknowledged that measures in place to tackle Covid-19, such as the order to stay at home, can be deeply worrying for those at risk from domestic abuse. Domestic abuse
is unacceptable under any circumstances, no matter what stresses society faces. DP World, UAE Region fully understands this, and provided financial support for Eideya (monetary gift) and Eid Attires in collaboration with Dubai Foundation for Women and Children that benefitted up to 100 people.
Jafza thanked the companies that contributed to the Community Solidarity Fund – Covid-19, and supported DP World, UAE Region with donations in cash and kind, encouraging others to follow similar steps, with several companies responding immediately. These companies were NAFFCO (AED1 million), Oriental General Trading Inc. (AED250,000), Independent Tobacco FZE (AED250,000), Kaane American International Tobacco Company (AED250,000), Intercontinental Leaf Tobacco Company Inc. (AED250,000), Logi Composites FZE (AED51,000), ZIVA Wet Wipes FZCO (SED 75,000), Banafa Group (goods worth AED230,000 – sanitizer and disinfectants), ZPMC Middle East FZE (good worth AED38,400 – 20,000 face masks).
Not all heroes wear capes. janitorial staff are one set of key workers that play a vital role in keeping people protected, and are on the frontline in the battle against Covid-19. For the second year, we have been spreading happiness by distributing Eideya gift cards to the staff to thank them and show appreciation for their support and hard work. Around 250 employees were honoured in this way in 2020.
As you would expect, Dubai Cares is staying true to its name too, and, through its Education Uninterrupted initiative in tandem with the Ministry of Education, is providing monetary support to help make distance learning available to students throughout the nation. AED150,000 has been donated to supply students with Information and Communications Technology (ICT) devices to continue their education.
Zayed Humanitarian Day
DP World, UAE Region is playing a prominent role in reinforcing the UAE’s efforts to combat the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, and is a key partner in the team supporting the National Emergency and Crisis and Disasters Management Authority.
The organisation consolidated its humanitarian initiatives on Zayed Humanitarian Day, underlining how its many projects and programmes form a key pillar of its overall strategy.
Mohammed Al Muallem, CEO and Managing Director, DP World, UAE Region and CEO of Jafza, said: “In DP World, UAE Region, we don’t consider humanitarian initiatives as part of our work, but rather our work is all part of a comprehensive humanitarian initiative. Supporting fair trade, empowering economies, enabling people to live a decent and dignified life, and giving individuals the opportunity to dream and aspire, represent the true meaning of human action, righteousness, charity and commitment to social responsibility.
Therefore, we have developed our strategy to ensure sustainability and growth for us and for our partners. Serving humanity is the DNA of our organisation, as it’s our daily routine and not an occasional seasonal activity or an instantaneous response. This is the essence of what we have learned from Sheikh Zayed’s legacy, which we commemorate every day, and particularly on Zayed Humanitarian Work Day.”
Companies and organisations throughout Dubai, the wider UAE and the world are stepping up to the plate during this difficult time. However, random acts of kindness do not have to be big gestures. Think about the last time someone did something nice for you, and you’ll realise that even the smallest acts can have a significant impact. A lot has changed since Covid-19 came onto the scene, but the fundamental ways in which we can be kind to each other remain the same.
Therefore, as we move forwards in our battle against Covid-19, perhaps we should continue to emphasise how vital kindness is; a virtue that can act as a vaccine to the virus of selfishness.