Around 500 pupils of a Dubai school participated in a social initiative launched by an India-based non-governmental organisation (NGO), Pure Living, where they used their creative skills to stitch hundreds of embroidered baby clothes.
The clothes are for underprivileged infants, who live in conflict-hit countries.
The Year 10 and 11 pupils of The Westminster School (TWS), Dubai, have teamed up with Pure Living to make the art-of-giving exercise a roaring success.
The pupils were provided with unsold handloom materials from weavers and artisans in India.
The TWS’ teacher coordinators took over the responsibility of distributing materials, providing orientation to volunteer pupils, stitching baby clothes and collecting the finished products.
Over 500 mommy kits, including baby frocks and nappy sheets, were stitched by the pupils, who went out of their way to embroider intricate thread work and painting cute things on the clothes.
The month-long project called Samman, which translates to gift of giving in English, is run by Lakshmi Menon, a social entrepreneur and the founder of Pure Living.
Samman culminated with an exhibition of the handiwork of the pupils, staff and parents on TWS campus.
The project is supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and weaves sustainability with a touch of kindness and purity.
Vijayakumari Sathyan, who heads TWS, Dubai, said: “We’ve always believed in giving back and helping those in need. The Samman project is one of how our staff and pupils have given back by hand stitching these kits for babies, which are being delivered to mothers and infants in need. It makes me proud to see our community take such an active role in making the world a kinder place.”
Mathani Mudathir, a pupil who participated in the initiative, said, “This was a special experience for me as I realised how my little contribution could benefit struggling infants and mothers thousands of miles away. This realisation of contributing to such a pivotal movement makes me feel very thankful for the opportunity to help others from across the world.”
The project was part of the GEMS’ 'Jewels of Kindness and Respect Programme' that motivates pupils to practice simple acts of kindness such as getting involved in voluntary work and supporting acts of kindness.
Sathyan said the project encouraged young learners to be kind to each other, their family members, and the larger community.
"It aims to teach kindness as part of the daily lives of the students. Our ‘Jewels of Kindness and Respect Programme’ was reflected predominantly through acts of kindness towards mother nature. Pupil leaders organised in-house green initiatives as well as mega-events connecting with the larger community," she said.
She elaborated on some other programmes that the pupils organised under the “Gems' Jewels of Kindness Programme".
"Some other programmes under this theme are the school’s first virtual sustainable fashion conference (called Green Vogue); another student collaboration programme called ‘Youth Vision, Green Solution’, where three schools, five teams, 34 pupils competed for the best sustainable solution on real-life climate issues. Also, a sustainable solutions conference (called Green Souq) wad held. The event connected environmentalists and climate change activists from different parts of the world to share their journey and a sustainable solution, which can be implemented at an individual level,” she added.
Expressing his happiness, Carl Roberts, principal and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of TWS, Dubai, said: “I'm so proud of our staff and pupils who are constantly looking at ways in which they can help others, both in the UAE and around the world. The Samman project conducted at our school will have put smiles on the faces of hundreds of children and parents. I thank all involved for the time they spent making our world a happier place.”
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