Showcasing the humanitarian soul and spirit of the UAE, hundreds of volunteers from across the seven emirates joined the "We Stand Together" initiative yesterday. As part of this initiative, 1,200 tonnes of food, health and general hygiene items have been supplied, including 30,000 food kits. The UAE has been among one of the first countries to provide emergency support to the affected people and the relief kits will be delivered to Pakistan on an urgent basis.
The community volunteering event saw citizens and residents of all ages and nationalities gather at three locations across the country including Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC), Expo City Dubai and Expo Center Sharjah, and pack the relief kits in four hours.
The "We Stand Together" initiative was launched by Emirates Red Crescent (ERC), Dubai Cares and Sharjah Charity International in close coordination with the Ministry of Community Development (MoCD) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) in the UAE, with the support of nine other UAE humanitarian organizations including Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment, The Big Heart Foundation, Dar Al Ber, International Humanitarian City, UAE Water Aid Foundation (Suqia UAE), Sharjah Charity House, International Charity Organisation and Emirates Charitable Association.
As part of this community event, volunteers were groups into various teams to support with the packing of two types of relief kits including food supplies as well as hygiene kits. Food supplies included items such as flour, rice, lentils, oil among other non-perishable items, while the hygiene kits contained essential toiletries for women and children such as diapers, sanitary napkins and soaps amongst others.
Hamoud Abdullah Al Junaibi, Secretary-General of the ERC, praised the role of volunteers in supporting and making the "We Stand Together" initiative a success in reducing the humanitarian impact caused by rains and floods in Pakistan. Al Junaibi also acknowledged the vital role played by the coalition of 12 humanitarian organizations in strengthening the UAE’s leading role in Pakistan. This coalition embodies the unity of the UAE humanitarian work and construes the value of partnerships in one of the most important areas related to improving life and alleviating the suffering of victims caused by disasters and crises, Al Junaibi added.
Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman of Dubai Cares, said "The UAE has a long history of supporting countries in crisis and the resounding success of the "We Stand Together" nationwide volunteering initiative is a clear reflection of the country’s humanitarian values. The coming together of hundreds of volunteers of all ages and nationalities and from all parts of the country to support Pakistan during this time, highlights the deep-rooted culture of generosity and compassion that the UAE community proudly shares. We extend our heartfelt thanks to all the volunteers for committing their time and efforts to this initiative and turning it into another UAE success story."
Abdullah Sultan Bin Khadim, Chief Executive Officer of Sharjah Charity International, said: "Praise be to God for the success of the "We Stand Together" initiative and for the achievement of its goals. The volunteers said their word through their presence during the event by preparing the relief kits that will be shipped through an airbridge to those affected by the floods in the friendly Republic of Pakistan. The initiative embodies the values of synergy of people from all walks of life, including citizens and residents, women, men, young people and elderly as well as individuals and institutions.'' '' We worked hand in hand with a spirit of giving back that is deeply rooted in the wider UAE community. This initiative to support the affected people also reflects the values of late Sheikh Zayed, the founder of the UAE whose foundations are based on giving. We inherited these values from generation after generation to lend a helping hand to the needy and those affected around the world."
Young volunteers also came forward and contributed positive messages such as "Every cloud has a silver lining. This means that there’s always hope", "We are here to save you; we are in this together", "Sending you a sea monster as part of the rescue mission. Good luck and stay safe Pakistan", "I know that we will get through this together" that were placed inside the relief kits in support of the families affected by this devastating natural disaster.
"We learnt about what was happening in Pakistan and wanted to support through the "We Stand Together" initiative. What’s happening in the country is really sad. We were happy to contribute to this initiative by writing positive and motivational messages for the people affected by the floods as they really need all our support during this time," said Tia Aljayyusi and Sophia Taha, Grade 11 students from Dubai International Academy.
"We are all seeing what’s happening in Pakistan and so many of our friends’ relatives have been affected. In fact one of my friends’ parents were displaced due to the floods and the rescue team had to find them. During this time, we all need to come together and support Pakistan as we are one global family. I am also proud to be a resident of the UAE where we can do something to help by supporting initiatives like "We Stand Together"," said Fadi Alsayegh, a young doctor living in the UAE."