Maldivian efforts to assist the people of Palestine will culminate in an unprecedented 33 hour telethon aired across multiple participating broadcasters.
Numerous media organisation have initiated a telethon titled ‘I will also help’ to raise funds for victims of the ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza. It will air from 2:30pm on Friday (August 8).
The organisers will also assist in arranging a joining of hands across the capital Malé at 5pm on Saturday, while the fundraising – with over US$350,000 already in the Help Gaza Fund – is set to grow as both state and private companies urge staff to donate wages to the fund.
All TV channels and radio stations taking part in the telethon will air the same live program with content – produced by a joint content committee – on the current situation in Gaza to be broadcast through out the programme.
Live updates of donations and details of fundraising and solidarity events organised by councils and NGOs across the country will also feature.
This week Maldives Customs Service and Maldives Ports Limited jointly opened a joint fund where employees of both institutions agreed to donate one day’s basic salary. Faafu Atoll Hospital has also decided to join this campaign.
In addition to one day salaries of their employees, newspaper Haveeru has decided to donate the total revenue generated in advertisement on their online and print news this Thursday (August 7). The paper hopes that this will allow people to donate by placing advertisements on the paper as well.
The state owned State Trading Organization (STO) has announced it will donate a percentage of its two major shops’ sales on on August 8 and 9, five percent from STO Home Improvement, and two percent from STO Super Mart.
STO is also coordinating with the media telethon group for the joining of hands event during which people will stand holding hands across Boduthakurufaanu Magu in Malé starting from the tsunami monument.
Ahmed ‘Hiriga’ Zahir, an organiser and President of the Maldives Journalism Association, requested everyone dresses in black for the event to show that “we are taking part in their sorrow”.
“Remember how we felt when the tsunami hit the Maldives and how we requested foreign aid? Now our brothers and sisters in a situation where they need our help. I request everyone to donate to the best of their ability for this cause,” he said.
The telethon group is also selling fifteen ‘Help Gaza’ t-shirts for MVR100,000 each. Two have already been booked – one by the STO for President Abdulla Yameen and another by Kooddoo Fisheries Maldives Limited for the first lady.4
Joining of funds
After the Adhaalath Party endorsed the telethon, both parties have agreed to join their funds, with the party’s Help Gaza Fund being pooled with the telethon collection from Friday.
The Help Gaza Fund has received over MVR5.48million (US$355,600), the party said today. Collection of funds is on halt for now and will begin again with the the telethon on Friday, explained an Adhaalath spokesperson.
The donations from the joint fund will be handed over to the Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) – chosen because they have worked with Adhaalath in previous fund raising events such as the 2010 Pakistan Relief Fund to help flood victims and the 2009 Gaza Fund.
QRCS has assured that these fund will reach the people of Gaza in the form of food and medicine through their relief efforts in area.
Meanwhile, the Maldivian Red Crescent (MRC) are also raising funds in response to an emergency appeal for US$14.7 million by the Palestine Red Crescent Society on July 14. The MRC Palestine Relief Fund was established on July 20 will continue collecting until August 15.
Funds will be raised through MRC Emergency Relief Fund bank accounts, donation boxes and door-to-door collection across the country.