How to Make a Difference This Ramadan

How to Make a Difference This Ramadan

24 Jun 2014

Throughout the Muslim world, Ramadan is a period of almsgiving - embrace it by donating and volunteering

Charity is very important in Islam, and is especially so during Ramadan. Zakat, which translated means ‘the poor-rate’, is one of the pillars of Islam that requires 2.5 per cent of a person’s savings to be given to the poor. Sadaqah is voluntary charity above and beyond the obligation of zakāt, and many people will choose Ramadan to give a larger portion of the zakāt and sadaqah to the poor and needy. Here in the United Arab Emirates there are many charitable organisations that one can donate to but if you don’t have much money to give, dedicating your time and assistance to these noble causes is also of great value.

Gulf for Good
Launched under the patronage of HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al Maktoum, Gulf for Good, organises exciting adventure challenges around the world, inspiring people to do something unusual. Participants raise funds that are donated to handpicked charities in the region where the challenge is held. Info: 04 368 0222, www.gulf4good.org

Adopt a Camp 
Café Nofara, based in Dubai’s Jumeirah Lakes Towers, is one of many supporters of Adopt a Camp. The initiative delivers Ramadan care packages to labourers in Dubai at their camps. Readers can do their bit by donating Dhs125 to Adopt a Camp, who’ll ensure a filled backpack is delivered to labourers in need. Info: www.adoptacamp.ae

Water for Workers 
The Sameness Project sends volunteers to locations around Dubai to hand out water to labourers, along with notes with ‘thank you’ written on them in English, Arabic, Hindi, Urdu, Bengali and Tagalog. The project, called Water for Workers, has been ongoing for years and started by giving out 40 bottles of water. They now deliver over 5,000 per run. Volunteers can email fiona@thesamenessproject.com to help out. Info: www.thesameness project.com

Live it Up Uganda 
Ugandan woman Jaja, 73, has been looking after the lost and abandoned children of Uganda with the help of a few volunteers in Katanga. Residents of Dubai can help by volunteering with efforts in the slum in Uganda, or by giving their time in Dubai by helping raise funds for the project. Info: www.liveitup.org

Unicef MENA in Syria 
The UAE’s branch of this international children’s charity is helping the children of Syria by providing support in pivotal areas like health and education. The charity works to reduce the impact of the challenges endured by refugee children due to the summer heat, with measures such as providing clean drinking water as well as sanitation. Info: www.supportunicef.org

Red Crescent Authority Charity Programmes
The RCA runs all year round and collects millions of dirhams during Ramadan to support its various charity operations, including the Ramadan project, which involves Ramadan supplies programme, provision of free iftar meals and distribution of Zakāt al-Fitr and Eid clothing to thousands of needy families in the UAE. It also benefits those in Syria and on the Jordanian border. People can make contributions through the counters of Red Crescent Society located within mosques, shopping malls, hospitals and other public places. Info: 800 733, www.rcuae.ae

Zakāt Fund

The Zakāt Fund goes into overdrive during Ramadan, raising awareness about zakāt for the benefit of the UAE’s members of society, such as needy families, widowed women and poor students who need to complete their studies. Additionally, the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments conducts a number of lectures and sermons on fasting at various mosques across the country. Info: 800 8333, www.zakātfund.ae

Takatof Ramadan
Originally launched during the Holy Month in 2007, Takatof Ramadan Project is one of the key initiatives of the Takatof Social Volunteering Programme of the Emirates Foundation for Youth Development. Takatof Ramadan promotes social and civic responsibility through volunteering and provides assistance to low-income families in the UAE. The project completely relies on volunteers to distribute food coupons, school accessories, health assistance and other needs. Info: 800 825 2863, www.takatof.ae

Karama Kanteen
The volunteer initiative Karama Kanteen is aiming to brighten the lives of labourers this Ramadan by preparing and distributing iftar meals to around 54,000 men across the UAE. The project will give out free meals at labour camps in Sharjah, Al Quoz and Sonapur throughout Ramadan. New volunteers are extremely welcome. Info: Email info@volunteerinuae.com