x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Fun and games for Palestinian children

Volunteer works hard to make it a summer to remember for kids.

The co founders of the programme, Laiza Ashraf, left, and Mame Diop, with all the items that have been collected.
The co founders of the programme, Laiza Ashraf, left, and Mame Diop, with all the items that have been collected.

ABU DHABI // For more than a month, colouring books, face-painting sets, football jerseys and skipping ropes have been piling up in Laiza Ashraf's living room.

Soon, all the games and art supplies that have been taking over the 28-year-old accountant's flat in the Khalidiya area will be putting smiles on the faces of Palestinian children at three summer camps in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

The camps, run by the Palestine Children's Relief Fund (PCRF), give disabled and able-bodied youngsters a chance to learn and play together through art lessons, swimming, field trips, first aid classes, dance and health education.

Ms Ashraf is a volunteer for Abu Dhabi Cause Connect (ADCC) and became its PCRF campaign manager this year. "I chose the PCRF because I loved the fact that they were associated with children," she said. Each camp needs donations of 14 skipping ropes, 14 face-painting sets, 10 footballs and 70 jerseys, two puzzles and five Twister games, plus lots of art kits.

So far, the group has collected enough for nine camps in all.

Initially, it focused on Abu Dhabi but has extended its appeal to Al Ain and Dubai. "People have been extremely kind," Ms Ashraf said.

"Laiza stepped up as a true blessing to manage a campaign that we were eager to see to its fruition," said Suparna Mathur, a co-founder of ADCC. "Her enthusiasm and earnest devotion were a welcome addition to our team and we hope to find more of such passionate Abu Dhabi community members."

The campaign concludes at the end of this month. "Our aim is to reach out to as many children as possible and provide them with a wholesome and fun summer camp experience," Ms Ashraf said.

To donate, email abudhabicauseconnect@gmail.com or visit facebook.com/abudhabicauseconnect.

rruiz@thenational.ae