News & Events

Labourers moved by children’s lunch gifts


Parents and students of JSS International School, Al Barsha,prepare meals for workers building new campus

Around 200 grade one pupils, aged five to six, lined up at a park next to theworksite in Jumeirah Village Circle to distribute lunch bags to workers duringtheir lunch break yesterday.

Image Credit:Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: Hundreds of labourers got a pleasant surprise as grade one students showed up at their work site to gift them packs of home-cooked lunch on Wednesday.

The students from JSS International School in Al Barsha wanted to show their gratitude to the workers for building their new campus in Jumeirah Village Circle, which is nearly complete.

They came up with the idea as part of the broader school involvement under the UAE’s Year of Giving initiative running this year.

Arriving on the school bus,around 200 small pupils, aged five to six, lined up neatly in an adjacent park— lunch bags in hand — around noontime to wait for the workers’ lunch break.Soon, an equally neat line of workers streamed into the park, and each worker was handed a parcel by students as they walked past.

“Enjoy, thank you,” could be heard from the children as they gifted the packs. There were plenty of “thank you” replies from the workers too.

“I’m very touched by the children’s gesture. I’m so happy to know they’re thinking of us. I wasn’t expecting them here today and it was beautiful to see so many children in one place. It reminded me of my own children and my home,” said Mohammad Akbar, 45,a Pakistani labourer.

“I want to say a big thank you to the children, their parents and the school. I’ve been working in Dubai for three years but this is the first time I’ve experienced this interaction with the little ones.”

Seven-year-old student Abhay Menon said: “I’m feeling very good because we’re giving so much food to them,because they’re going to help us [build the new school]. My mum — everyone’s mum — made meals for them and we made sandwiches in school. We have water and juices and fruits too that I would like to give them.”

The home food was prepared in the morning and put in around 400 parcels that the children brought to school.After making some sandwiches with the teachers’ help at school, the students boarded buses taking them to the under-construction school.

Karen Robinson, supervisor of the primary section of the school, said the children were “very excited” by the Year of Giving initiative, declared for 2017 by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. She said they “wanted to do something to say‘thank you’ to the workers” who are building their new campus.

“We and the children wanted the workers to have a really nice meal. And we wanted the children to actually handover the food directly to the workers so they see, literarily, charity inaction,” Robinson added.

The Year of Giving has encouraged residents, companies and government departments to volunteer their time and energy to make a difference in people’s lives.