Fundraiser aims to provide meals for coronavirus healthcare workers during Ramadan

A group of young Muslims in the capital city region wants to thank medical staff with a hot meal at the end of their shift.

File picture of Sara Salmani, one of the Ramadan meals organisers / Credit: Sara Salmani

A group of young Muslims in the capital city region has launched a fundraising initiative to provide hot meals for frontline healthcare workers.

It’s a way to thank them for the hard work they’re doing during the coronavirus crisis, throughout the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and beyond.

A gofundme page for the effort has so far raised more than €2,300 with a target of up to €10,000.

“We want to give back to healthcare workers with a small gesture of gratitude for the work they are doing at this time. Myself, I am working from home. It’s quite safe but still stressful and the doctors and nurses dealing with coronavirus patients are taking a lot of risks” says Sara Salmani, one of the fundraising organisers.

There’s around 20 people involved in the project, with volunteers scouting local restaurants near Malmi and Laakso hospitals in Helsinki to find good providers for the food. If the campaign raises enough money they’ll look at expanding the efforts to cover Espoo and Vantaa hospitals which are also treating coronavirus patients.

“We were thinking 300 meals for both hospitals. Each hospital has 150 staff for day shift and night shift. The workers can grab a meal and go home at the end of the shift” explains Salmani.

“It’s Ramadan which is the holy month of fasting for Muslims. It’s a time of charity and giving, and being together. But also it’s a time of spirituality. This year because of coronavirus we can’t be together, but we can give” Salmani adds.

File picture of Habiba Ali / Credit: Twitter

The fundraising effort came about after a group of Muslim friends wanted to figure out what they could do in the spirit of Ramadan, to help those hospital workers caring for others.

“Charity is one of the big things in ramadan and because of that we were thinking about this Covid-19 epidemic going on, what else could we do to support those ones on the front line, helping the patients who have this virus. The nurses, the doctors, and that’s the idea” says Habiba Ali, a Social Democrat Councilor in Espoo, and one of the group of friends behind the initiative.

Depending on fundraising the group wants to get the first ‘thank you’ meals delivered to the hospitals before the end of Ramadan and then continue in the weeks afterwards.

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