x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Jet skier's altruistic effort adrift

The 28-year-old Emirati who jet-skied along the coast was disappointed by how little money he raised for the Future Centre in the capital.

It is hard to regain your balance on dry land when 20 hours on a jet ski for charity nets you only Dh835. "I am still exhausted, aching and very sunburned," Majid al Ameri said, still recovering from the challenge. "I am really disappointed and I thought we would raise much more than that, to be honest. Maybe we didn't prepare enough."

The 28-year-old Emirati who jet-skied along the coast was disappointed by how little money he raised for the Future Centre in the capital, which assists children and young adults with special needs. Mr Ameri spent Dh140,000 on a new jet ski, Dh55,000 for a speedboat and Dh10,000 to set up a collection system for donations. He wanted to raise Dh5 million (US$1.4m). He fell short. He added that the special needs centre is close to his heart and he was touched by the number of children who came to greet him at the finish line on Saturday evening.

He said that the centre pays for half of each child's school fees and the rest comes from donations. To sponsor Mr al Ameri, text 4643 and Dh5 will be deducted from your mobile phone bill. Sponsors to date have mostly been friends and family. Roni Pedralvez, the head of training at the centre and a member of the fund-raising team, said the school relies on donations. "If a million people were to text in Dh5 each, it would be the money we are praying for and would keep us going until the end of the year," she said.

asafdar@thenational.ae