Volunteers from across Bahrain reach out to the needy

VOLUNTEERS from across Bahrain are coming together to distribute boxes of food and necessities to ease the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Local organisations and community initiatives have taken an active role in helping underprivileged families along with individuals who have been financially impacted by the pandemic.

A call has also gone out for cash sponsorships by women’s crisis response centre Shamsaha in aid of its newly-launched Covid-19 Emergency Food Relief initiative.

The centre normally helps female victims of physical and sexual violence, but Shamsaha founder and executive director Mary-Justine Todd said the initiative aims to provide food for any woman who has lost her source of income due to the unprecedented situation caused by the pandemic.

“In the first 90 minutes of launching we had more than 50 requests for food and there’s no way we can meet these needs under our existing funding and infrastructure, therefore, we need the community to come together,” she told the GDN.

“We need people to sponsor the programme and we’ll take care of the details.”

She explained that the food package being distributed to women is based on the World Health Organisation’s best practice to contain high calorie and low cost non-perishable food items in emergency situations.

She revealed that the order includes a 5kg bag of rice, 1litre of cooking oil, 1kg each of carrots, onions and green apples, 2kg of whole chicken, a 20-piece egg box, and two loafs of bread costing around BD10.

“The idea was to step up and show Bahrain that Shamsaha is here for all of the community in these hard times and we want to live up beyond our mandate,” added Ms Todd.

“As women, Bahrainis and foreigners, we are stronger when we work together, the world is stronger when we work together, so this is our chance to form a protective network to help all the women in Bahrain.”

For more information, visit @shamsaha_me on Instagram or donate through BenefitPay to 39756726 or IBAN: BH73KFHO00021010022200.

Community volunteers have also come together to launch ‘A Box of Goodness’, which has so far distributed 500 food boxes, with 150 boxes given to the Migrant Workers Protection Society (MWPS) for foreign workers impacted by Covid-19.

The initiative is also targeting aid for salon staff, cleaners and school drivers.

According to founder Miranthi Dole, the initiative accepts only food donations to tailor-make the boxes according to individual needs, while also accepting orders through Talabat and Insta Shop or via AllFood.co on Instagram to be delivered to their premises in Sanabis.

“It’s so important not to be selfish right now,” said Ms Dole.

“While our health should be our priority, I don’t believe that we should just be safe at home and looking after ourselves as there are a lot of people out there who are suffering and who are not as fortunate as us.

“The community has to come together and Bahrain has blessed all of us in many ways and it’s our turn to give back to Bahrain.

“I’m a Muslim and I’ve learned that you should help people who don’t ask and are shy to ask for help but they really need help.”

For more details, visit ‘A Box Of Goodness’ page on Facebook or @aboxofgoodness on Instagram

The MWPS has also initiated its Covid-19 Relief Fund by calling for donations to help impacted workers.

The society distributed 1,100 food packs in the first two weeks with targets to reach 2,000 workers.

“The public response has been positive and the society started the distributions immediately after the call for donations went out on March 24,” said MWPS chairwoman Noora Feleyfel.

“It is truly heart-warming to see individuals and organisations coming together and contributing to the welfare of the less fortunate low-income expat worker community.”

MWPS volunteers visit up to 20 locations a day, reaching out to almost 100 workers. The food staples in the pack are sufficient to last one month for each person.

Those who wish to donate can do so through BenefitPay to the society’s account: (IBAN) BH21 NBOB 0000 0099 6077 19.

Around 460 boxes, filled with rations, have also been packed for underprivileged families by members and volunteers of PUSH Gym as part of efforts to relieve the burden on needy families.

According to co-owners Huda Bushehri and Anastazia Salinas, the initiative started when the country experienced a rush of panic buying as people started stocking up on food items.

“When Covid-19 first hit us, we saw everyone rush to the stores to stock up on food and I started thinking about the less fortunate who don’t have the means to stock up on what they need and they’re just stuck in the situation,” said Ms Salinas, who is also a personal trainer.

“We stock up all the boxes at the gym and then people either come pick them up or we drop them off.

“This way everyone is on an equal playing field, this is a chance to take the burden off the less fortunate and it’s an opportunity for the fortunate to help the less fortunate.”

For more information or to join this initiative, follow @push_bh or call 39994210.

Meanwhile, Mata Amrithanadamayi Seva Samiti (Mass) has also packaged food items for distribution and those in need can call 39461746 or 39896467.

Another expat association, Samskruthi Bahrain, is also providing food and essentials to those in need. To donate or for more information, call 39104176 or 33064441.


Source: http://www.gdnonline.com/Details/800268/Volunteers-from-across-Bahrain-reach-out-to-the-needy


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