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Young to the rescue

February 26 - March 03 , 2020

Gulf Weekly Mai Al Khatib-Camille
By Mai Al Khatib-Camille

Gulf Weekly Young to the rescue

A youth-led international humanitarian NGO has been staging creative, family-friendly events to help raise awareness and funds for projects serving the needy across the MENA region, writes Mai Al Khatib-Camille.

The non-profit organisation, Ayadi Relief, started in 2013 by restoring, renovating and maintaining houses for Bahraini families in the Baitkum Baitna project.

The project was launched with the aim of ensuring safe and healthy housing standards for locals. These homes are restored by young adults hailing from different nationalities and backgrounds and the work does not exceed more than six weeks.

So far, the group has improved the lives of several families and have restored more than 40 Bahraini houses. The project has won local and international accolades including fourth place in the Ihsan award for the best youth volunteer project in the Arab world and first place in the Shaikha Hessa bint Salman Al Khalifa Award for Youth Voluntary Work Grant of the Ministry of Labour and Social Development in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Another noble project that the generous individuals tackled with tenacity in Djibouti is the BD91,006 Ayadi School project. The objective was to build a school that can accommodate 360 students consisting of 12 classrooms, a science laboratory and a library.

These are just some of the projects that the organisation works on and they are made possible by donations as well as fundraising events such as STREAT.

 “STREAT is a food festival where you can support and try new Bahraini vendors as well as discover new talents that will be performing on STREAT’s stage over six days while supporting a good cause,” said Shaikha Showaiter, the Bahraini general manager for Ayadi Relief.

 “There will be new vendors that will debut themselves in STREAT and aside from all the performers that will be taking to the stage, there will be a surprise guest performer set to entertain the crowd coming from out of Bahrain,” added Shaikha. “You will have to wait and see! The STREAT Kids’ corner is set to be bigger and better as well so that parents can keep their children in a fun child friendly atmosphere while they feast.”

Last year, the event attracted more than 10,000 visitors and featured 45 vendors as well as 34 performances and activities.

“This year and every year through STREAT, we want to show people that making donations and helping others can be done in so many ways. You can even help by eating and enjoying your time. All of the proceeds from STREAT each year go towards a different cause.”

The proceeds will be going towards the vendors themselves; however, fees from the rental of the booths and entry into the festival will be donated to Baitkum Baitna. There will also be two new concepts managed by Ayadi Relief which are Ayadi Café, where the proceeds will be going towards the cause and also Ayadi Shop which is a concept store featuring exciting products from unique businesses from Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. The proceeds from Ayadi shop will go towards the admin fees of the organisation.

Ayadi currently features more than 700 volunteers working on Baitkum Baitna and STREAT. This is also including all of the organisations committee and team members.

Shaikha said: “They all come from different backgrounds and nationalities and they are the driving force in the Ayadi Relief Organisation. Aside from Baitkum Baitna, we are always researching new projects and fundraising possibilities.”

STREAT will run from tomorrow to Saturday and again from March 5 to 7. Join the  food festival fun from 4pm to 11pm on Thursday and 2pm to 11pm on Friday and Saturday. For details on entry and other news, follow them on Instagram @ayadi_relief.

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