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Caring hands

June 3 - 9 , 2020

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

Gulf Weekly Caring hands

Ayadi Relief, a youth-led international humanitarian NGO known for its creative fundraising events supporting vulnerable communities across the MENA region, has launched a new project to respond to those in need across the kingdom.

Ayadi Responds, which means ‘hands that respond’, will feature various initiatives to aid the community during these difficult times.

According to Shaikha Showaiter, the Bahraini general manager for Ayadi Relief, they have been monitoring the Covid-19 situation along with the rest of the country since STREAT, which is their street food fundraising festival.

She said: “We started to hear stories about people not getting paid, businesses shutting down and so many other problems that happened because of Covid-19.

“Normally, Ayadi works in only two sectors which support housing and education, in and out of, Bahrain. However, during these events, we decided as an organisation that we have to provide help and support within our community as soon as possible.

“That is the reason behind Ayadi Responds. We are going to continue researching the best projects and response methods needed to support the needs of the people around us.”

Their first “response” initiative is called Sufra.

“In Arabic, sufra means setting up a space for a meal,” said Shaikha. “The sufra is what brings people together over food and conversation. But what does it have to do with Covid-19?

”More than any other time, people with limited, unstable or lost incomes in our communities are facing a challenge to provide basic necessities and food items for their families. The generosity of donors in Ramadan has provided for so many, but the challenge extends to the months ahead. Through Sufra, we aim to provide food to people in need and deliver them in partnership with The Conserving Bounties Society.”

Since starting the initiative, the generous group has received 300 donation boxes from the Capital Governorate and Ayadi aims to distribute them to labour workers and those in need.

“We have partnered up with Conserving Bounties (food bank) to help us with the food boxes, donations and distribution,” said Shaikha. “Depending on the amount of donations we receive, we are aiming to help as many people from as many nationalities as we can. There is no limit, our goal is to be able to support and help the majority of people that are suffering.”

In terms of donations, they are leaning more towards the basic food necessities which can be stored at room temperature since some families don’t own refrigerators. The food boxes would typically last about a month.

Shaikha added: “As the name of our project suggests, Ayadi Responds, we will continue to read the circumstances of our community and develop appropriate responses in different fields where necessary. We will continue to see possible areas of responses which we may contribute in such as education, livelihood and wellbeing.

“However, as the situation evolves, we would like to provide as much help as we can following the Ministry of Health guidelines. Everyone is doing their bit for the community and being a youth-led NGO, we hope to do the same.

“The government has been doing an amazing job dealing with Covid-19 in Bahrain. However, there is always room for us to help and reach out to those in need, especially to those who have lost their jobs, those who have had salary deductions or those that aren’t getting paid at all.

“As citizens, it’s our duty to check up on those who have left their countries and families behind to serve our country since some can’t afford to eat, pay their rent or even support the families that they have left behind. Each and every one of us can help out by donating or simply spreading the word. We aim to build on our strength and reach, while partnering with experts in the field.

“These are just some simple steps we can take to support one another whilst staying safe and healthy and not jeopardizing our health. If you are in need or know someone in need, please feel free to reach us at any time through @ayadi_relief on Instagram or contact 36668997.”

Donate to the Sufra program today by using the “Scan to Pay” option on your Benefit Pay mobile app.

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