The Fruit Initiative aims to provide fruit for families who cannot afford the extravagance.
By Ahmed Mansour
There are many things in our homes that we consider essential that others can only think of as a luxury or a treat. With 10.7 million Egyptians under the poverty line, fruit is one such luxury many families cannot afford. Last month charity volunteer Amira Mokhtar decided she wanted to help change that, launching The Fruit Initiative to support families struggling with rising prices of staples like bread, vegetables and protein and for who fruit is unaffordable. Though she’s worked as a marketer for various FMCGs over the past few years, Mokhtar, who is in her mid-twenties, says participating in charity work has always been her real passion. In an exclusive interview, she tells Egypt Today all about her new fruit drive.
What inspired you to start up the Fruit Initiative and what is it exactly?
I was watching a report on TV about rising prices and their effect on people, especially those living in slums, and there was one man who was saying didn’t know the taste of fruit. He saw fruit sold on the street but didn’t even dare to think about buying it for his kids because it was a luxury he couldn’t afford. I was eating oranges at the very same moment. [I thought I could put out a call for donations and build up a volunteer network though which we could distribute fruit to the needy. .. It had to be fruit for so many reasons; fruit is one of God’s gifts to us, with its sweetness and variation. Many types of fruit were mentioned in the Qur’an for their multiple benefits, such as grapes, bananas and figs and we want to help people, especially kids, to taste such a gift and enjoy it as well.
Who are you reaching out to and what are you hoping to accomplish through the initiative?
Anyone who wants to let a small kid taste the sweetness of good fruit. I hope to reach as many people as I can and help make their lives easier, even if a little bit, so they can face it with more will than before. I wish I could spare every child feeling deprivation. Besides providing fruits, sometimes for special cases we provide other types of foods.
How many people are taking part in the initiative?
The Initiative idea was started by me and now the volunteer work is open for anyone to join at any time. In the long term we aim to expand our volunteering members as the Initiative grows.
Who is the initiative funded by?
The initiative is totally dependent on individual donations. Anyone who is interested in making a donation can send me a message on The Fruit Initiative page, and I will get back to him/her to organize our meeting point and date. I then meet him/her in person or one of the volunteers collects the donation.
To find out how you can help, contact Amira Mokhtar at www.facebook.com/TheFruitInitiative