COVID Crusaders is another great youth initiative pioneered by grade 8 student Cyrus Fotuhi. It is a student affiliate of Curry4COVID, both are humanitarian campaigns to help feed those in need by providing warm meals to low-wage workers in Dubai impacted by the pandemic.
Can you explain how the initiative COVID Crusaders first came about?
It first started when me and my dad went for a run about 1 month ago. He had launched the Curry4COVID campaign to help feed those in need and he was worried about not being able to achieve the campaign’s target of 50,000 meals. So, I came up with the idea of COVID Crusaders as a way of helping him reach that target.
Please can you tell me all about it?
COVID Crusaders is the student affiliate of Curry4Covid which is a humanitarian campaign focused on providing warm meals to low-wage workers in Dubai who have lost their jobs due to COVID19 and who are struggling to feed themselves. Students support the campaign by reaching out to their family and friends and ask them to donate by purchasing meals via the KIDDO app. The meals are then prepared by Classic Catering and distributed by the UAE Food Bank at various labour camps.
What has the response been like from schools and students?
There has been lots of support among schools. NLCS’s Head of Charity and I had a Zoom call and after that they spread the word to all their students. Some other schools have adopted a central approach where they collect the donations centrally and submit them as one. It’s been great to see everyone getting involved in various way. So far, we have 20 schools participating from across Dubai which is wonderful!
What is the outcome?
The intended outcome to collect the funds needed so that we can have Bobby Kapur and his team at Classic Catering prepare warm meals for those in need. Our target is to serve 50,000 meals. So far, we have served 22,000 meals – so almost half way there!
What are some of the challenges you have faced?
The challenge is to hit 1,000 meals/day average which is what we need in order to achieve the target of 50,000 by 30 June. Therefore, we need more Crusaders to join us and to help spread the word.
What skills have you learnt from being part of it?
I have developed my public speaking skills because I’ve had to make a campaign video and also to speak to a lot of the schools about this program. I have also learnt how to use Instagram in a more professional way. After launching the @Covid.Crusaders, this IG account has gained 200 followers in less than a month.
Why is it important for kids to see a different environment to their own?
It’s important for kids because as they grow up it’s open to see all aspects of society, not just the nice parts. So, it will make students in Dubai more open-minded. It would also be a good way for students to get involved in this global epidemic so that when they grow up, they can look back and be proud of their positive contributions in the fight against COVID19.
What do you see yourself doing later in life?
I’m not sure yet.
What impact has COVID had on your life and has it made you think about the world in a different light at all and perhaps think differently about your future?
It has had a massive impact. During these tough times the world has had to come together and help each other out. In Dubai, this involves helping out the workers who have lost their jobs due to Covid19. It’s made me realize that people can come together and tackle an epidemic by doing good things such as donating meals.
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