The season of goodwill is all-year-round for UAE group
Umm Al Quwain Charity Association helps pay school fees and provide for medical cover for those in need
Christmas is traditionally a time for giving - but one UAE charitable organisation is spreading goodwill all-year-round.
Umm Al Quwain Charity Association provides a vital lifeline when it is needed most, from helping low-income families to cover crippling school fees to ensuring patients battling chronic illnesses get essential medical support.
More than 600 pupils, spanning various nationalities have been given financial aid by the caring team in order to stay in school during this academic year alone.
The organisation distributed Dh400,000 to meet students' university fees and splashed out another Dh880,000 to pay rent and debts of families in tough financial situations.
“Without the association’s help my children would not have the chance to completed their studies, or have a roof over their heads,” said Adel Ali, a 59-year-old Egyptian father of five who works as a school bus driver in Umm Al Quwain.
“Our income doesn’t cover the family expenses especially after my wife left her job in 2015 after having a stroke which left her half paralysed,” he said.
One of Mr Ali's daughters had to leave college to take care of her sick mother while one is still currently studying nursing at the University of Sharjah and another is still at school.
“The association helped me cover most of the school fees for my son who is now in grade 11 and my daughter’s university fees along with helping me find a way to pay the rent through guiding me to other charity organisations plus providing my wife with the monthly needed medication,” he said.
“Life with a family and many responsibilities is not easy and we are always in need as my salary doesn’t exceed Dh4,000 but we are all very grateful for their support and we would have never found such support anywhere else.”
Another resident said that he has been benefiting from the association’s generosity since 2014.
“They helped me pay half of the tuition fees of my two daughters at school when I reached out for their help four years ago and helped me cover my son’s medical expenses when he had to be admitted to the hospital last year,” said Mr Hasan Eid, a 62-year-old retired Palestinian sailor and father-of-five.
The association also helps Emiratis replace their old household and electronic goods with new products.
Juma Hasan, a 75-year-old retired Emirati, said that he had the chance to change all his old and worn electrical appliances and furniture.
“They help in everything and when I applied to change my old households, it didn’t take them much time to approve after they came and visited my house and found that some of the electronics and furniture needed to be changed,” said Mr Hasan, a father-of-seven.
“In less than five days they changed all the old electronics such as the AC and provided us with brand new furniture.”
The association has also helped a cancer patient from Comoros to cover his medical fees after his doctor requested him to undergo an urgent surgery to remove an infection after getting treated for esophageal cancer.
“I received treatment for esophageal cancer two years ago and this year the doctor found some infection and needed to operate so I sent my papers to the association to help me cover the medical expenses and they did,” said Mohammed Al Baloushi, 46.
“The association always try to help and we are grateful for all their efforts.”
Essa Bolehyool, general manager of the association, said they check the merits of each plea for help on an individual basis.
“We have a team that verifies the documents and make home visits to check the family status and after that, we offer the needed help according to the allocated budget,” said Mr Bolehyool.
“This year we allocated Dh1 million for school fees and any resident with an income below Dh10,000 is eligible to receive our support.”
Mr Bolehyool said that the association also provides monthly food coupons, pays electricity connections fees prisoners' debts.
The association was set up in 1979, under the directives of the late Sheikh Rashid bin Ahmad Al Mualla, former Ruler of Umm Al Quwain, to help people of religions, nationalities, and ethnic backgrounds.
The association, located at Al Ruadah area, accepts donations and can be reached at 06 764 0330.
Updated: December 25, 2018 08:28 AM