A thirst to help work­ers in sum­mer heat

The Same­ness Project is ready for a big cam­paign

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - cait­lyn@7days.ae

It all be­gan in 2011, with just a few cool bot­tles of water in a car on a hot sum­mer’s day. Now it has ex­panded to 10,000 bot­tles and more than 800 vol­un­teers – The Same­ness Project’s Water For Work­ers cam­paign is grow­ing rapidly, and the first one for 2016 is this Satur­day. The ini­tia­tive, man­aged by The Same­ness Project, sees Pep­siCo do­nate 10,000 bot­tles of water, and vol­un­teers hand out the drinks, and sweat cloths to work­ers labour­ing in the hot sun. Founder of the Same­ness Project, Lina Na­haas, says it has been ex­pand­ing each year, and the group can barely cope with the de­mand of peo­ple want­ing to help and get in­volved. She’s hur­riedly speak­ing to me in be­tween or­gan­is­ing the pack­ing of the water with sweat-cloths. Each sweat cloth has a print on it - say­ing ‘thank you’ in six lan­guages, as a to­ken of ap­pre­ci­a­tion for what these peo­ple do. “We started with 1,000 bot­tles, and then it was 5,000, and now it’s 10,000, and it’s a few times per year. It’s right to say, the ‘thirst’ is there (ex­cuse the pun), but we only have lim­ited amounts of cloths, of the water, but it’s great to see so many peo­ple want­ing to help.” Lina has been over­whelmed by the pos­i­tive re­sponse, and spots fill up within half an hour. She says: “We need peo­ple more so in other com­po­nents of the cam­paign. For ex­am­ple to­day, we are pack­ing the bot­tles, and sweat cloths into boxes, it’s tak­ing a few hours for us to do - we al­ways need help with things like that.” Water For Work­ers is about more than just hand­ing out re­fresh­ments. Lina ex­plains: “We en­cour­age ev­ery­one to slow it down - have a con­ver­sa­tion with these peo­ple. It’s not just about giv­ing the water as fast as you can. It’s about look­ing these peo­ple in the eye and talking to them, con­nect­ing with peo­ple.” The Same­ness Project also has other hu­man­i­tar­ian projects, in­clud­ing We’ve Got Your Back - an in­for­ma­tion book­let to help taxi driv­ers pro­tect their backs through stretches and ex­er­cises while sit­ting for long hours in the car. And if you can’t par­tic­i­pate on Satur­day, Lina says it’s easy to get in­volved: “Go get some water, and give it to some­one that’s in the hot sun. Have a chat with them.”

LOT OF BOT­TLE: Satur­day will see 10,000 bot­tles of water dis­trib­uted to labour­ers

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.