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‘None of us walks alone'
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 07 - 07 - 2015

How should we live? This simple and at the same time deep question is one that a group of young friends asked themselves some years ago.
Farida Lawendy, one of the young people, said the best way to live was to worship God and to try to live our lives on Earth happily. Her answer was also the beginning of a charity, founded in 2010, called “Because We Don't Walk This Earth Alone.”
Every Ramadan, the group tries to put smiles on the faces of others. “This year we began our Ramadan programme on 19 June by visiting two orphanages for disabled children, the Dar Al-Sondos and the Dar Al-Fardous, bringing the children Ramadan lanterns, colouring books, balloons and food. We spent hours of innocent joy and happiness together,” Lawendy said.
Members of the group will also be visiting the orphanages again next week. “Our next step will be visiting the National Cancer Institute to have iftar meals with the kids and celebrate Ramadan with them with Ramadan lanterns, colouring books, balloons and food,” she said.
Older people are also among the group's targets, which is why members are visiting the Dar Al-Safa old people's home, where they will have iftar meals with the residents, sharing fruit and desert with them.
“Then we will be back at the National Cancer Institute again, on 3 July, after prayer time to hold a small party for the kids,” Lawendy said.
You don't need to belong to a charity to help the needy in Ramadan, which is why Amira Ali and her group of friends decided to prepare daily iftar meals for the needy that began on the first day of Ramadan and will continue until the end of the month in Nasr City. The group is also distributing meals to poor families in El-Salam City and parts of Masr Al-Qadima.
“Our target is to feed 600 people a day in Ramadan by distributing 600 free meals,” Amira said, adding that the group had prepared daily iftars last year and had been very successful. A cook and assistant cooks prepare the meals at only minimal cost. Then Amira and her friends bag up the food and distribute it.
“We use 50 kg of rice a day, costing LE160, 60 kg of vegetables, costing LE300, and 80 kg of meat, costing LE3,200, along with tomato paste, pasta and cooking oil. The total cost per day is around LE4,040,”Amira said.
The campaign was launched on Facebook, and friends and relatives have been drafted in to help, whether by fundraising, donations or gifts of time or food.
“We urge people to participate by giving what they can afford. Even a jar of tomato paste can make a difference,” Amira said. She added that those who are not able to help with money or food can contribute by preparing the food or looking after the tables.
The writer is a freelance journalist.


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