DUBAI-MAY 02 2017: Thirty-four Canadian University Dubai students recently made multiple visits to a labour camp in Al Quoz as part of their “Good Deed Project” for their ‘Ethical Reasoning for Today’s World’ course. The students visited the camp several times to distribute boxes of clothes, toiletries and food supplies to the men who live at the camp. They were assisted in their efforts by an organization called ‘Royati’.
“We started handing out boxes, but before we knew, the line of people waiting to receive them grew more than we had accounted for,” said student Fatma Ali of their first visit to the camp. “At that point we decided to open the boxes and give out smaller amounts to each laborer, trying our best to ensure that each one of them went home with something. Unfortunately, the line grew longer with time and we were not able to cater for everyone. It was difficult for all of us to turn the rest of them down and announce that we had run out of goods.”
Following their first visit the students reflected on the lessons learned and changed how they handed out the goods on their subsequent visits. Some of the other students also reflected on the experience.
“What I loved the most was the way they all came around us, smiling and calling the others to come,” said student Olamiji Fisayomi Deborah. “It was great to see how welcoming and appreciative they were, it melted my heart. Deep within me I felt so proud and kind of accomplished, as it feels good to make people happy. I will definitely take other friends there to do this again.
Dr. Louise Lambert, Professor at Canadian University Dubai, said the volunteer component to the class brought many of the theories and philosophies of what it means to be a good person alive for the students. At first, they were not enthusiastic to give up some of their personal time, but after the first visit, they were the ones who insisted on collecting more donations and going back a second and third time. “Youth want to do good, but they can't always find the avenues to do so; once they find a path, they rise to their better selves and know exactly what to do.” This initiative parallels the Year of Giving being promoted by H.H Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and will be repeated again this Ramadan where students will hand out Iftar packages as part of their Good Deed component in the community.
“Our main aim was to provide enough supplies in order to fulfill the daily needs of a human being and to bring a smile on the workers face by showing them there is still someone who cares,” said Lubna Moosa Sodagar. “The whole experience of collection and distribution made me realize that every single thing that we have is such a blessing from God. It also made me more thankful for everything that we have in life.”
Said Lilas Ammouni, “I had a mixture of emotions. I was really excited to go, and it felt really good when we started giving stuff out to the workers and seeing their happy faces, but soon my emotions started to shift, since we had hundreds of working men lining up and just a few boxes left. Regardless of everything, it was a great experience that I would gladly and proudly do again because although there are so many good deeds to do out there, some just feel better than the others, feel free to nominate me to help in anything like that for the coming semesters !”
To learn more about Royati and the work that students will again do with them this coming Ramadan, please visit http://www.royati.ae/.