Dubai School Students Donate, Write letters for Syrian Refugees
Students of a Dubai school have organised a humanitarian aid drive for Syrian refugees. And along with food and clothing donations, they are also looking forward to collecting piles of heartwarming letters – all written in Arabic – that can uplift the spirits of people in need.
The initiative was put together by Raffles World Academy pupils, Saher Kapadia and Max Uyttenbroeck, in partnership with the Emirates Red Crescent.
Now in its second edition, the charity drive will gather donations of supplies, such as clothing, blankets, toiletries and food, for Syrian refugees in Lebanon and other countries.
“I hope this drive serves as a reminder to people that there are millions of refugees in need of our help and support. Despite the lack of news coverage recently, it is important to not forget the hardships refugees go through and the conditions they are currently living in,” Kapadia told Khaleej Times.
“We have decided to open the drive to the whole of Dubai because, after a Khaleej Times article about the drive was published last year, I received so many messages from people who wanted to donate books and clothes. I really hope that this drive would grow bigger because it will mean more refugees will benefit from the items donated. Similar to what we did last year, we have collaborated with Emirates Red Crescent to not only help refugees residing in Lebanon but in other countries, too.”
In March this year, the US reported that Daesh no longer controlled any Syrian territories and that they had been defeated. International media has been reporting that the eight-year-long Syrian civil war is finally coming to an end, though their presence is being seen in parts of northern Iraq, Liberia and Nigeria.
The civil war has produced more than 5.6 million Syrian refugees and 6.1 million internally displaced people, according to the United Nations. More than half a million people have been killed since the beginning of the war.
As part of the charity drive, students at Raffles World Academy and members of Dubai’s communities are being encouraged to write letters of support to the refugees.
“I believe many refugees feel as if they are alone or forgotten, but receiving a letter from someone halfway across the world serves as a reminder that is not the truth. I hope the letters the refugees would receive could help them in ways that clothes and food couldn’t – getting that feeling of support, happiness and hope,” Kapadia said.
“Supporting the mental health of refugees is just as important as helping their physical needs. So, with every donation, it would be amazing to receive a letter written in Arabic. I believe writing letters to refugees allows students to develop their skills of empathy and empowers them. Because when you know that your words have made someone smile, it motivates you to do it again and again.”
The campaign ends on April 30, however, the date may be extended if the students see a huge response from the public. Drop-offs can be made at Raffles World Academy.
Make a Syrian refugee happy
>You may donate supplies, such as clothing, blankets, toiletries and food
>Drop-offs can be made at Raffles World Academy
>Include a letter of support, written in Arabic, in your donation
>Drive ends on April 30 (but the date can be extended, depending on the public’s response)