Big plans for Ramadan fridge scheme
The team behind the successful Ramadan fridge sharing campaign want to expand the initiative to 50 countries.
During the Holy Month, more than 100 fridges across the UAE were filled with food and drinks donated by the public to cater for thousands of low-paid workers.
Now, the women at the forefront of the campaign are planning to spread the cause on a bigger scale in September.
Moroccan expat Janine Bensouda, a member of the fridge sharing team, said the diversity among residents in Dubai and their commitment during Ramadan is what gave her the idea to take the cause global.
“There are more than 200 nationalities in Dubai, it is like a mini world and my idea is to spread the cause across the globe through the right people in UAE,” she said.
Explaining how the global campaign will work, Bensouda added: “During a particular week, there will be similar initiatives in 50 countries together.
“An ambassador for every country will be appointed, they can be in the UAE or abroad, who will identify and give the responsibility to someone back in their designated country to manage the initiative.
“They are responsible for the communication By Mahak Mannan and structuring of the distribution in their country and based on their requirements, it could be a fridge, distribution in a village or feeding the needy.
“We will guide them from here and make synchronised efforts for anybody in need.”
Currently the team is organising ambassadors and local representatives for new countries joining the scheme. Some of the countries with ambassadors assigned already include Australia, Canada, Morocco, Afghanistan, USA, Belgium and Holland.
Founder of the Ramadan fridge sharing initiative Australian expat Sumayyah Sayed said the reason to go global was to promote the idea of giving at the community level.
“We want people all over the world to know that this sort of initiative, which involves just the community, can happen anywhere,” she said. The local representatives of the countries will be organising the distribution and charity required for it, but will keep the team in Dubai updated.
“As the world is going through a tough time, and we are sick of watching and hearing depressing news, the only way to fight evil is to be positive and we intend to set that example for the world,” said Bensouda.
“We want to get the maximum impact within a week.”
The project, Bensouda added, will not require funding as it will be run on a voluntary basis from each country involved.
The team is also developing an app that will be launched in September to help residents choose their drop-off points.
“Right now the managers are having a hard time to get the message across if they need to stock up fridges,” she said.
“Through the app, residents will get an alert for which fridges need to be stocked and will also have the location of all fridges, including their nearest drop-off points.”
A case study on the sharing fridge initiative by the Institute of Management (Dubai) is also going to be published in academic journals.
FRIDGE BENEFITS: The initiative has been a huge success since its introduction