Expat volunteers create lifelines for sufferers across the world

Published:  29 Apr at 6 PM
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Volunteer armies all over the world are fighting the pandemic and supporting its victims.

As the covid-19 pandemic continues its inexorable march across our world, the millions of expat and citizen volunteers following in its wake are ambassadors of hope for all those caught in its grip. First responders aren’t just those in the hospital front lines who save lives by risking their own, they’re also the armies of worldwide volunteers who see those in need and respond with everything from food and shelter to friendship, support and advice.

Volunteers come from every stratus of society, bringing everything from practical experience through energy and hope to cold, hard cash for those who’ve lost loved ones, lost their businesses, can’t pay the rent or support their families or simply can’t cope with being isolated for months. Every country has its dedicated teams, with expats and locals alike risking their own health to help those hit hard by this unprecedented threat to society and the world economy.

Although it’s a region usually represented as being a haven for the rich, the UAE is home to people at all economic levels from migrant workers to small business owners and elderly expats suddenly finding themselves in total isolation from their friends and families. In addition, foreigners caught up in lockdowns simple by missing flights home before all were cancelled are also trapped and often out of cash as a result. Luckily, the UAE and its states are well prepared as regards the huge number of volunteers coming forward to help and advise where and when they can.

Whilst the healthcare system in the Gulf States is modern and well-equipped, those without funds often feel they can’t cope should they fall sick, causing stress and loneliness for those far from home with no chance of getting back. SME owners whose businesses have been forced to close are another group who need help from this volunteer army as, even if it can’t work miracles, it can provide the essentials of life including friendship and support as well as food and shelter. In many ways, the virus has forced humanity to stop short, revalue what’s really important and contact with other humans in a meaningful way.
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