x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Pupils help labourers who lost everything

Workers whose belongings were destroyed in a construction site fire were compensated by a group of pupils from the school next door.

DUBAI // Workers whose belongings were destroyed in a construction site fire were compensated yesterday by a group of pupils from the school next door. Around 100 labourers working on a new children's hospital next to Kings' Dubai School lost many of their belongings when a fire swept a rest area three weeks ago. Yesterday, pupils from the school presented them with more than 20 bags of clothes and food.

The children, aged between nine and 10, had spent the last couple of weeks collecting the provisions for the workers. "We've been collecting stuff like shoes, clothes, food, milk and drink," said Kahlil Sharif, aged nine. "Their building burnt down and they don't have enough money, and they come from abroad, and need stuff, so we want to help." A dozen students gathered around the collection yesterday morning, eagerly waiting to present the labourers with the bags.

Tubes of toothpaste, rice, lentils, towels, flip flops and T-shirts were collected, some unworn, others barely used. "We went to Carrefour and bought lots of stuff, but we also had a look around the house to see if there is anything we can give that we don't need," said Emily Barton, aged 10. "We were looking for stuff they might need, to help them." Adnan Jassim, the engineer on the site, said the fire destroyed the rest house next door to the school, which was where the labourers kept their possessions, such as clothes and mobile phones, and where they used to eat and rest when working on the site.

"The fire damaged their clothes and belongings, as well as two caravans. They are going to be so happy with this gesture." On their way to visit to the building site, the children explained why they were so excited about their venture. "It makes us feel good doing something like this," said Kahlil. "We're giving things to workers who don't have as much stuff as us." According to Elyse Graham, aged nine, collecting the donations had made them more aware of how little labourers earned.

"We were shocked by what little they had," she said. "Doing this for them makes me happy." nsamaha@thenational.ae