Meet the 5-year-old Emirati volunteer delivering food to thankful labourers

Mubarak Al Mazrouei is the youngster member of the UAE's Little Volunteer programme

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A five-year-old Emirati is serving as an inspiring role model for all generations by braving the searing summer heat to help others.

Mubarak Al Mazrouei is the youngest member of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood's Little Volunteer programme, which counts more than 300 young people among its number.

Since its formation in 2019, the group has sought to deliver crucial humanitarian aid both at home and abroad.

This week, Mubarak has joined a team of more than 20 helpers in distributing food packages to construction workers in Abu Dhabi.

Drenched in sweat but filled with a sense of satisfaction, he hands out chicken shawarmas, juice and fruit to thankful labourers.

“It is hot,” he said. “Very hot but I like it. It is OK that it is hot.”

Forging a culture of giving

Members aged from five to those in their late teens are part of the humanitarian initiative, with many also part of the Emirati Children’s Parliament.

“We have formed this group to develop a culture of volunteering and charity within the community,” said Fatima Saleh, head of the volunteering committee at the council.

“Charity work and volunteering is a crucial part of any society. It also teaches the children self-confidence, responsibility and a love to help others,” she said.

In 2019, the organisation travelled to Yemen to donate 11 tonnes of toys to children.

A young volunteer hands out food to construction workers in Abu Dhabi. Khushnum Bhandari / The National

During Ramadan, young volunteers gave out iftar boxes food for people to break their fast.

The rise of the Covid-19 pandemic initially slowed activities, but volunteering work is back on the rise.

“Covid was a setback and for two years we limited our activities but we are picking it up again and don’t plan on slowing down,” said Ms Saleh.

“Yes it is hot but we have the luxury of going immediately back indoors after distributing the packages. These workers don’t and we want to do what little we can to help.”

Hundreds of workers were given food parcels on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Raad Bassam, 17 from Al Manara private school, is delighted to be part of the initiative.

“I feel happy making other people happy and I know this isn’t much but at least we brought a smile to their faces,” he said.

The campaign is being held under the slogan “We are all one family.”

Wadeema Juma, a first-year Zayed University student, supports every project held by the council.

“Volunteering makes me happy — making people happy, makes me happy,” she said.

In 2019, she travelled with the volunteers to Yemen giving out toys to young children.

“Seeing the smiles on the children's faces, how happy and grateful they were, was priceless,” she said.

“Volunteering is also a great use of our free time especially during the summer. I don't like watching TV or going on social media and prefer this to sitting at home watching movies or being on social media.”

Updated: July 08, 2022, 10:13 AM