UAE schools and pupils lead donation drives for Gaza aid

Cash donations and food supplies collected as part of Emirates Red Crescent's humanitarian campaign

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Pupils across the UAE are organising their own donation drives to collect aid for Palestinian families affected by the Israel-Gaza conflict.

Schools are also hosting events throughout the month for volunteering pupils to collect donations that will be sent to families in Gaza.

All donations will go towards the Emirates Red Crescent's Compassion for Gaza campaign.

Small steps can help change the world
Satarupta Mukherjee, 18, pupil at Gems Modern Academy in Dubai

“Our children wanted to be able to help and to really do something to help others their own age,” said Monique Flickinger, superintendent at the American Community School of Abu Dhabi.

“Starting this week, we are collecting items outlined by the Emirates Red Crescent and later, we will assemble those items, which include necessities such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, etc.

“Students said that this was a small thing they could do as children to help other children.”

Al Salam Community School in Dubai also launched its donation drive on Monday and is collecting aid for the ERC's Compassion for Gaza campaign.

“Our student and parent volunteers have been supporting all week by collecting items and cash donations which will be sent to families in Gaza through the Emirates Red Crescent,” said Kifaya Khan, the school's principal.

Mr Khan said the school would also be hosting a donation event on November 10, with all proceeds going to the ERC's campaign for Gaza.

“The event will allow our community to come together to embrace the culture and heritage of Palestine, while also raising aid for the relief effort.”

A learning process

Satarupa Mukherjee, 18, an Indian pupil at Gems Modern Academy in Dubai, is leading the donation drives at her school.

“I registered myself as a volunteer and thought that rather than just giving supplies, why don't I take the initiative in school and ask everyone to help get one more thing,” she told The National.

She is still planning the logistics and working with the school to make it a success.

“My friend and I will be going on the day with all the supplies and the school will be providing transport, and will help us by keeping all the cartons in place.

“Small steps can help change the world,” she said, adding that this experience of supporting a humanitarian cause was a learning process for pupils.

“I feel school is not only about studying or getting an education, it's about getting a platform to raise your voice and understand what's happening around you.”

Donation drives are continuing across the country, with malls collecting aid for Palestinian families through the ERC's humanitarian initiative.

Majid Al Futtaim Shopping Malls said on Thursday that it had teamed up with the Emirates Red Crescent Authority to hand out donation boxes to shoppers.

Malls in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah and Abu Dhabi will be accepting donations, including cash, blankets, canned food, new clothes and children's supplies, that will all go towards those affected by the war in Gaza.

The UAE has sent a plane carrying 68 tonnes of vital food supplies to the Gaza Strip as part of its humanitarian support for the Palestinian people.

The aircraft flew to Al Arish in Egypt on Friday, in co-operation with the World Food Programme.

The food aid is expected to cross into the enclave through the Rafah crossing to help families affected by the war.

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Updated: October 25, 2023, 7:17 AM