DUBAI// A disadvantaged family has received a very special present for Eid - a renovated home courtesy of students from the American University of Sharjah (AUS).
This was the fourth time AUS students have worked with the Hand in Hand: Renovating an Orphan's Home project.
More than 100 youths participated in the makeover, which took a week to complete and involved painting and cleaning in partnership with the Sharjah Social Empowerment Foundation.
"We are delighted this project went well," said Dr Moza Al Shehhi, vice chancellor of student affairs. "We are always trying to raise awareness of giving back to the community.
"When we see our students participating in community services, it shows us our message is getting through and we hope more will get on board."
The upgrades were unveiled at a special ceremony on Sunday.
The foundation was launched in 2004 to repair the homes of the needy in Sharjah.
"We started with small projects and we grew slowly," said Nawal Yaser, social research manager. "We normally do one project a year, but due to increased demand this year we will do two in partnership with AUS."
For this project, the foundation provided paint, materials and carpets, with AUS providing volunteers, furniture, accessories and some gifts for the family.
"It was a lot of fun helping to clean and paint this house," said Anas Masamreh, an electrical engineering student who volunteered for the project.
"To some of us the house seemed small but we knew that when we were finished it would be like heaven to the people who live in it."