Throughout the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, there have been numerous examples of people coming together on Facebook to do good.
In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, people have shown many acts of kindness, providing charity, funds, and donations, to support the less fortunate. This has been a means for local communities to offer support where it is needed.
This act of giving continues in Ramadan. Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, Ramadan in the MENA region remains a time for reflection, connection, and sharing.
Facebook is marking the holy month of Ramadan with a global campaign called the #MonthofGood. It aims to explore, inspire, and express good across its family of apps, in a celebration of charity, collaboration, and community.
As part of this initiative, here are examples of small businesses across the MENA region that are coming together to inspire millions to do good and express solidarity.
• The Doodle Factory is an Egyptian brand that aims to meet children’s medical, education, and shelter needs by using their drawings to design a wide range of products. This Ramadan, proceeds from their sale will help fund building the new Magdi Yacoub Heart Center in Cairo.
•Breadfast is a Cairo-based startup that delivers fresh baked goods to customers across the Egyptian capital, Cairo. This Ramadan, they are partnering with the Ahl Masr Foundation and donating 5% of every oriental desserts order. Also, for any box of Eid cakes, kahk, ordered along with a donation box to the Egyptian Food Bank, Breadfast will match it with one donated to the Egyptian Food Bank at half price.
•Project Chaiwala is a cafe in Dubai most popular with the tea lovers of the city, and provides a live authentic street experience in an urban setting. Launched by Dubai-based Justin Joseph and Ahmed Kazim for their love of the piping hot cup of ‘karak chai’, Project Chaiwala has been using social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, to build their business. As part of their Ramadan campaign, they are offering a free chai for every delivery rider who picks up orders from their branches during Iftar time.
•Mamalu Kitchen is a cookery studio in Dubai, founded by Lama Jammal Houssami who was inspired by her three boys and the need to help fellow mums and families simplify their day-to-day lives without having to worry about feeding their family fuss-free healthy food. Mamalu Kitchen is creating a cooking movement under the slogan #feedingfamilies. By engaging every single member of the household/family and various members of the community, to be involved and empowered by cooking, Mamalu Kitchen is enabling a lifestyle change in the region. This Ramadan, they are holding various Arabic cooking classes and taking part in sustainability partnerships to support local farming as well as a ‘no food wastage’ mission.
•Abwaab Jordan is an education technology (edtech) based startup that has teamed up with LA based foundation, Children of War Foundation, which aims to help refugee adolescents continue their education at their own pace regardless of their circumstances. In partnership with Facebook, Abwaab held a fundraiser to support a student’s education for one full year by providing them with a tablet, internet access for one full year, and Abwaab’s online learning platform. So far they have already provided 117 students with the bundle. The initiative has been extended during the holy month of Ramadan with an aim to support both refugees and locals who struggle to gain access to formal education.
•La Buvette du Maroc is a new concept of fast food in Morocco that provides business employees and school/university students with a varied and balanced lunch solution through home-made cuisine made from fresh, local, and seasonal products. This Ramadan, they are offering an ‘Ftour Solidaire box’ that customers can distribute to people in need, and those who cannot afford a proper meal.
•La dragée d’or is a chocolate factory based in the Moroccan city of Casablanca. This Ramadan, they will distribute chocolates to various orphanages and NGOs working with children in and around the city, with the aim of bringing smiles to children’s faces.
•Eco Village Eco Village is a beauty products supplier based in Tunisia, specialising in natural cosmetics, offering a wide choice of products ranging from face care to body care. This Ramadan, Eco Village Natural Beauty, known for being generous, close and committed offers TND 1.5 to the ARIJ Association for each special bag sold.