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Saudi Arabia

Charity begins at garbage bins ... if your heart beats for the handicapped

A Saudi woman in Madinah has launched a humanitarian project to support the handicapped and poor patients by collecting paper and plastic leftovers — that can be recycled — from garbage boxes.
“If we can collect 1,000 papers, we can make the money required to buy a wheelchair for the handicapped. A thousand plastic bottles will help us buy a medical equipment,” said Nahla Al-Suhaimy, leader of an NGO called We Live for Our Ummah.
Al-Suhaimy’s group sells papers, plastic bags and bottles collected from trash boxes to factories and donates the amount to charitable organizations which can buy wheelchairs and medical equipment.
“We achieve two goals by this venture. First, we protect our environment and secondly, we support poor patients and people with special needs,” she told local media.
She said she had initially faced opposition from friends and relatives who did not like the idea of collecting garbage. “Later, the number of supporters and volunteers increased, when they saw it working.”
The group’s volunteers visit garbage boxes at government departments and schools. “The letter we received from a Madinah factory helped us a lot to get more support from the public,” she said.
At present, Al-Suhaimy keeps the collected material in the courtyard of her house because the group does not have a warehouse.
More than 100 volunteers have joined the group and she is hopeful the project would attract more people in the coming months.

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