Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 July 2019

Dubai residents rally for Christmas box donations for workers

Worker accommodation in Al Quoz offered 'comfort' packs of food and toiletries

Volunteers from the British Expats Dubai social media group delivered Christmas comfort packs to more than 300 workers at labour accommodation in Al Quoz. Lisa Jackson-Rojas.
Volunteers from the British Expats Dubai social media group delivered Christmas comfort packs to more than 300 workers at labour accommodation in Al Quoz. Lisa Jackson-Rojas.

Thousands of Dubai residents have donated food and toiletries to be send to blue collar workers as Christmas comfort packages.

Some 6,900 members of the British Expats Dubai Facebook group rounded up goods to deliver to more than 300 workers at labour accommodation in Al Quoz.

Donors could offer specific products from an online shopping list of everyday items. These were then boxed up and delivered to workers.

Toiletries and supplies, including more than 1,000 apples and pears were handed out on Friday.

“It occurred to me that, as Britons, we are in a largely privileged position in the UAE,” said Keren Bobker, senior partner at Holborn Assets, who founded the social media page.

“As Christmas is the season of giving, we should try to give back to our local community and help out those in less fortunate circumstances.

“Members of the Facebook group were asked to donate items from a list, or for ease, purchase a box of items put together by a company which were then delivered to volunteers for distribution.”

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A second social media group with more than 6,000 members, Dubai Mums Helping Hands, also helped with the project in partnership with SmartLife, a non-profit organisation set up to support blue collar workers.

SmartLife offers support for workers by setting them up with free weekly English language lessons or by providing mentoring and occasional trips outside the labour camps.

The social media group had to seek approval to run a campaign for donations of food and toiletries, as per regulations by the Community Development Authority.

“Not only did members step up, but there was massive support by businesses,” said Ms Bobker.

“Kibsons International, the food delivery company, donated 1,000 apples and pears, and The Box Self Storage Services delivered the items to the camp and helped with the distribution.”

Updated: December 18, 2018 04:51 PM

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