Manchester alumnus leads ‘Sahem’ relief drive for UAE residents affected by Covid-19

Manchester alumnus leads ‘Sahem’ relief drive for UAE residents affected by Covid-19

Fawad Hayee, an alumnus of The University of Manchester, along with friends and colleagues, is leading a local community relief effort to support people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Called ‘Sahem’ – an Arabic word meaning ‘to contribute’ – the initiative aims to provide help to UAE residents who have been impacted by Covid-19 and therefore looking for assistance with food items.

‘Sahem’ is a UAE-based community initiative that facilitates access to food for those who need it most. The group works to connect those people within in the community who are in a position to help, with members of society whose access to food has been disrupted during the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic. The relief efforts focus on identifying and verifying the most vulnerable in society and then supporting them by providing food vouchers and packages.

The community can help Sahem in a number of ways, including by ‘adopting a family’ or a room in a labour camp, to assist all those in the family or room with their weekly food needs. Supporters of Sahem can also help provide individuals and families across the country with food gift vouchers through the initiative’s partnership with El Grocer.

According to Fawad, supporting ‘Sahem’ is a way of expressing gratitude for what we have, but this is incomplete without action and a commitment to helping others who are less fortunate than us - and this is exactly what Sahem is all about. 

He says: “Together with a group of friends, Sahem has already helped more than 1,000 people with food packages and matched supporters with local resident families and labourers who are in real need. Sahem has been able to achieve this by partnering with #ElGrocer in launching food ‘gift’ vouchers, creating a fast and efficient way to provide food support directly to those people who need urgent assistance.”

Sahem’s social media pages highlight the partnerships with #YallaGive, and included the recently concluded UAE’s ’10 Million Meals’ official food donation campaign. 

Sahem is a group comprising people of the community working in support of the community and everyone is invited to join and support the initiative and help to make a real difference to the lives of the less fortunate around us. To find out more about the Sahem initiative and how to get involved, visit Sahem’s Facebook and Instagram page. 

Fawad Hayee is Regional Financial Controller, MENA at Omnicom Media Group and is based in Dubai.