DUBAI // A campaign to provide clothing to a million deprived children has been praised by Emiratis keen to support the initiative during Ramadan.
The drive was launched late last week by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.
Dubai Media Office yesterday tweeted: "Nationals express pride at the humanitarian initiatives of #UAE Rulers, referring to the campaign of clothing 1 million children worldwide."
Khowla bint Ali, 22, a business student in Dubai, said Ramadan was the time for giving and praised any effort to help people in need.
"This is something as Muslims we must do every year," she said. "Ramadan is a time to think of those with less than us and it is our duty to take on this charitable work.
"We are very supportive of Sheikh Mohammed and thank him for taking such initiatives."
Text messages were sent via du and Etisalat on Friday to encourage people to donate. It costs Dh40 to clothe one child and Dh400 to dress 10. Donations can be made for any amount between Dh40 and Dh400.
Beneficiaries worldwide will include Syrian refugees.
Hassan Mohammed, 27, an engineer and Syrian resident of Dubai, said he was happy to hear people in his home country would benefit.
"So many people have been left homeless from this and most of all the children are the ones who suffer," he said.
Mr Mohammed's relatives are still in Syria. He has donated twice to the project and has forwarded the text to friends and family.
The project will run until UAE Humanitarian Work Day on July 28, which is also Ramadan 19, the ninth anniversary of the death of the founding President, Sheikh Zayed.
The clothing campaign has been launched in collaboration with the UAE Red Crescent, which works with the poor in Asia and Africa.
Launching the campaign last week, Sheikh Mohammed told the state news agency Wam: "Ramadan represents an exceptional opportunity to celebrate the values of goodness, giving and cooperation."
The project "increases the importance of launching social and charitable constructive initiatives during the month, especially those initiatives in which the people of the UAE can share and collaborate."
The timing of the anniversary of the founding President's death is fitting, Sheikh Mohammed said.
"Zayed was the source of giving. He was the teacher and the one who inspired the generous people of the UAE, who are an ideal example of efforts and generosity that knows no bounds and no discrimination," he said. "The spirit of giving is a characteristic of Zayed's sons and daughters. It is a culture which is deeply rooted in our community."
To contribute to the campaign, text 'dress' to: 7040 to donate Dh40 and dress one child, 7160 to donate Dh160 and dress four children, 7240 to donate Dh240 and dress six children, and 7400 to donate Dh400 and dress 10 children.
Du, which sent text messages to 6.6 million mobile subscribers on Friday, will donate Dhs3 million to support the initiative, which aims to clothe 75,000 needy children.
The campaign hopes to reach out to people on social media through Twitter @Dress1Million and the hashtag #Dress1MillionNeedyChildren.
Ahmad bin Byat, the chairman of du, said: "I would like to congratulate His Highness on the launch of this campaign, and wholeheartedly encourage the people of the UAE to donate generously in the spirit of the holy month of Ramadan to support those less fortunate around the world.
For more information, visit www.dress1million.ae.