November 29, 2020

How can I be of help?

By Yasmine Hammad
Giving back to the community in the UAE.

It has been so long since I have attempted to write anything at-all. Since the pandemic broke out, I kept on brushing it off, waiting for the storm to pass so I can do my magic on paper. Ahem – well that didn’t happen. Instead, I poured my complete focus on family and friends, with full submergence into my personal survival mode. 

Well let me tell you what I have discovered: that the world doesn’t revolve around me and my loved ones -literally.  The whole world around us was suffering one way or another. It took me a while to come to that tough realisation and to be able to shift my intention to finding ways to serve and help out

There has been great need for kindness, empathy and compassion in those tough times all over the globe.  Similarly new amazing initiatives have been born to help families who experienced a great deal of loss.  I have a friend who in the midst of the madness, decided to create her own platform App in Egypt to connect charities to donors; isn’t that just wonderful? 

Living abroad – in my case an Egyptian living in the UAE - teaches us to be independent, resilient and shows us ways to spread kindness. At the end of the day, most of us consider this beautiful city – Dubai - as our home-away-from-home. With the new safety measures of locking down the cities and social distancing, we are craving connection and kindness, so it’s so important that we reach out to others in need.  We can’t certainly help everyone, but a small act of kindness goes a long way and creates a ripple effect all around us.

Back to the topic of the article: how can we be of help and still abide by the law?  Here is a list of my personal suggestions of tried-and-tested initiatives:

1. Stop and Help

A Kindness Exchange platform, which connects people in the UAE who are in need with those who are able to support them.

2. Thrift for Good

Rehoming preloved items to reduce items to reduce waste and raise funds for children around the world. Donations of profits go to Gulf for Good who help children around the world through health, education and housing.

3. YallaGive

YallaGive is the first licensed online donation and crowdfunding platform in the Middle East.

4. Toys With Wings

They collect used and new toys from all over the world to distribute them inside refugee camps, orphanages, centers for disabled children and pediatric hospitals.

5. UAE Pay It Forward

A Facebook group for families in UAE that can help each other by sharing. This group is strictly for giving away Free items to others in need and in return all we expect from everyone is to "Pay Forward" the kindness shown to them.

6. Dubai Mums Helping Hands

A Facebook group with a mission to support both men and women in our labor community, and the service people who make Dubai the place we know and love.


The aim of the Platform is to grow the UAE volunteer community, whereby volunteers can match their skills and competencies with volunteer opportunities provided by public and private sector organization across all Emirates.

Not only would you be spreading kindness, you will also be doing yourself a favor: you will tend to be healthier, happier, and less stressed due to helpers’ high. Making the conscious effort to give back to the community is rewarding in so many ways and creates a great lesson for our children.  After all, we are all connected souls living on the same earth, we rise together or we fall together; so let us be hopeful and focus on the rising together part only, shall we? ☺