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Charity distributes gas cylinders to underprivileged

By Muath Freij - Jan 21,2019 - Last updated at Jan 21,2019

AMMAN — A Jordanian charity has recently decided to take a different approach to delivering winter aid, one that they say supports beneficiaries while retaining their anonymity. 

Dubbed “Kamshat Dafaa”, the campaign was designed to not only benefit families, but to also reduce the stigma that can come with needing aid, according to Bab Alkhair’s Shaimaa Abu Taleb.

“We wanted to hold a campaign that would not stigmatise beneficiaries, while also distributing gas cylinders, given that this winter has been harsh,” Abu Taleb told The Jordan Times.

Saeed Faidy, who recently donated to the campaign, said he was motivated to help after forgetting to pick up a gas cylinder on his way home one night. 

“I could have afforded to bring a new one, but I totally forgot to bring it. It was a very cold evening and on that day I started wondering, ‘How can underprivileged families spend every winter like this?’” he told The Jordan Times in an interview on Monday.

This experience prompted Faidy to donate to the campaign, which was launched in November.

Abu Taleb added that they managed to strike a deal with Lina, a mobile application that allows beneficiaries to use an app to request cylinders and which further protects their identities. After receiving a request for support and reviewing potential beneficiaries’ level of need, the organisation gives them a card containing a code, which they can use on the app to order cylinders. 

“We have representatives in each area we operate in, so that if the families do not have a smartphone, our representatives can help,” Abu Taleb added.

Abu Taleb stressed that their representatives also help the charity reach beneficiaries by providing them with a list of those who need support.

Since the initiative’s inception, the organisation has distributed a total of 250 gas cylinders, and is aiming to distribute more before the winter is over.

A Jordanian beneficiary, who preferred to be called Um Noor, praised the idea and said it could often be difficult to keep her and her children warm.

“I could not afford to buy cylinders and I used to bring wood and burn it,” the mother of two said, adding that this winter has been especially harsh. 

Organisers said they plan on making the project an annual affair, and currently offer support to people throughout different parts of the Kingdom. 

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