From completely managing the funeral of a woman who died from COVID-19, to fulfilling a request from the son of a deceased man to send him a photo of his father’s grave, a team of Dubai Government volunteers is doing everything possible to alleviate the suffering of the families who have lost their loved ones.
The team has received countless messages of appreciation from different people and organisations, including a message of gratitude from the Catholic community in the UAE.
The team has been working diligently to speed up procedures that need to be followed once a COVID-19 death occurs.
Following the unfortunate event of a COVID-19 death, the volunteer team establishes contact with the deceased individual’s families and assures them of their full support. In a remarkable example of the practice of tolerance and inclusiveness, the volunteer team provides moral and financial support to families of different cultures and faiths to expedite procedures related to the funeral.
The volunteering effort is yet another example of the deeply humanitarian and inclusive spirit of the UAE as part of which Dubai has launched several efforts to support people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In coordination with local and federal entities, the team follows up to ensure all post-mortality protocols are rigorously followed to reduce the burden on the family of the victim during a time of mourning.
Formed at an early stage of the pandemic based on the recommendation of Dubai’s COVID-19 Command and Control Centre, the team comprised of volunteers from Dubai Police, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Dubai Courts, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Future Foundation, Dubai Municipality and Dubai Public Prosecution, is led by Ahmed Huraimel, the advisor for the ‘Dubai The Model Centre’ initiative of the General Secretariat of The Executive Council of Dubai.
Reporting to Dubai’s COVID-19 Command and Control Centre, the volunteer team is supported by federal and local government entities including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Ministry of Health and Prevention, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Police, Dubai Municipality, Roads and Transport Authority, Community Development Authority and the Islamic Affairs & Charitable Activities Department.
With the backing of these entities, the volunteer team has launched several COVID-19-related humanitarian initiatives that follow the innovative service approach developed by the City Makers of the General Secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai to improve shared government services.
Commenting on the team’s mission, Ahmed Huraimel said, “I consider my participation in the volunteer team as part of my national duty. Our leadership has taught us the importance of helping those in need. The team’s mission is to ensure protection, dignity and respect for the deceased and their families regardless of their faith and help them expedite funeral procedures according to approved protocols.”
“The team is composed of remarkably committed volunteers who are determined to demonstrate the humanitarian values of the UAE through initiatives on the ground. The team’s efforts add to Dubai’s standing in the global community as a city and society steadfastly committed to humanitarian and inclusive values,” he added.
Since its establishment, the team has made several recommendations to support the families of COVID-19 victims. In collaboration with Dubai Municipality, it has trained and qualified people to deal with deceased females and provided safety training for non-Muslims.
Furthermore, in collaboration with the Red Crescent Authority in Dubai and other charitable societies, the team launched food distribution drives in Dubai during the period of intensified movement restrictions.