DUBAI // A charity has launched an appeal for supplies and volunteers to deliver packages of food and other essentials to labourers during Ramadan.
Organisers hope to distribute at least 3,000 care packages filled with toothbrushes, bedsheets, metal plates and other items in camps during the holy month, which is expected to begin on August 1.
The initiative is being co-ordinated by the non-profit Adopt-A-Camp charity, together with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, as part of its Ramadan Festival.
"Ramadan is a time for reflection and doing what we can to help those less fortunate than ourselves," said Saher Shaikh, the founder of Adopt-A-Camp. "We do these collections every year and they have proven to be successful. Hopefully, they will be again this time."
The boxes will be distributed to labourers in a mixture of working and abandoned camps in Jebel Ali and Dubai Investment Park.
Mrs Shaikh is urging people to donate what they can.
"The idea is to have the same items in all the boxes. That is why I ask people to send in as many of one item as they can rather than try to collect for an individual box themselves," she said.
Each box will contain enough supplies for three months, including energy food to help workers through Ramadan, plus new pillows, towels and socks.
Adopt-a-Camp is also asking for plates, as many labourers now eat off aluminium foil.
Once the items have been collected, phase two of the operation will move to the main hall at Dubai World Trade Centre on August 18, where hundreds of volunteers will help pack the supplies into boxes.
Bhupinder Singh, a camp boss based in Dubai Investment Park who supervises hundreds of labourers, said the boxes are always welcomed by the workers.
"It is something that the people here look forward to getting," he said. "It might seem like small things to most people, but here they can make a big difference to the daily lives of these men."
The packages will be assembled on August 18 at Dubai World Trade Centre from 9pm to 3am and distributed to camps the next day.
The charity is advising people to donate cash or items such as 100 toothbrushes or 100 steel plates. A cash donation of Dh500 can make care packages for four men. The deadline for donations is August 11.
For more information, visit the Adopt-A-Camp Facebook page or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.