Dubai: A team of volunteers from Dubai is on a mission to empower villages in Tajikistan by giving them safe drinking water, trucks and other machines to families in need to help them have a stable source of income.
A total of 15 employees from the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) will fly to Tajikistan this Friday for the ‘Risalat Khair’ (Message of Giving) to make a difference in the lives of the people in this Central Asian country.
The delegation is composed purely of volunteers as part of a new volunteering initiative that is a joint programme of Dewa with the UAE Water Aid (Suqia), and Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Charity and Humanitarian Establishment (MBRCHE).
Launched in the Year of Giving 2017, the new initiative is also aligned with the main goals of the ‘Year of Zayed 2018’.
“We follow the approach of the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan who established the principles of humanitarian work in the UAE. The values of giving and charity have become the main principles of the UAE’s mission to lend its helping hand in many parts of the world,” said Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of Dewa and chairman of the board of Suqia.
Through the initiative, Dewa employees will visit the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, to help establish small projects for families so they can have a stable income and a decent life. Each of them will give 10 volunteering hours per day from Thursday to August 16.
Khowla Al Muhairi, vice-president of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Dewa, said the projects are customised to help meet the needs of poor families in Tajikistan.
“Today, we’re not a typical utility. Dewa is going beyond providing electricity and water to touch people’s lives with our smart services, with our CSR initiatives, catering truly to the needs of the people,” Al Muhairi told Gulf News.
Nearly one in two people (about 47 per cent) in Tajikistan lives on less than $1.33 (Dh4.88) a day and 17 per cent subsist on less than $0.85 a day, according to the World Food Programme. Food security is a major issue as only 24 per cent of its rural population is food secure.
Al Muhairi said through the initiative, 20 trucks will be donated to farmers that will help provide them with a $200 per week income to support a family of six.
Some 600 sewing machines will also be donated to the families there and a basic sewing workshop will be held to help the economic and social development of the city.
Al Muhairi said the initiative will also see the inauguration of three clean water stations that will benefit 4,000 people. They also aim to support students for the new academic year by donating 400 schoolbags.
Dewa is also looking into two major projects such as putting up a clinic and a school to be named after the UAE’s founding father, Shaikh Zayed.
One of the volunteers, Aisha Al Falasi, 29, said she is excited about their mission as it will positively impact people’s lives there.
“We have an easy life here in Dubai. We are blessed. But there are countries that don’t have access to clean water or food they would like to eat, so being able to give them something, just being able to contribute to them is a [privilege].”