KG Interviews Miro Dole!
1. Please state your name.
My name is Shameem Miranthi (Miro) Dole, Sri Lankan Malay living in Manama. I work for Century 21 Bahrain as the Head of Business Development and Marketing.
2. I’ve noticed you conduct charity work. Can you please give more details to your charity and what you’re trying to accomplish?
The charity started off as a simple exercise to create the habit of giving. We encouraged people to use a box and keep adding one item to it on a daily basis; so at the end of a month, they had a box of goodness to donate to someone in need. Since launching in October 2016, our charity has grown in leaps and bounds and we are happy to share more happiness and goodness with those who need it the most. We have been supporting the Al Sanabel Orphan Care Society for almost 3 years now. We often make donations of furniture, clothing and toys to the families affiliated with the centre; and organize group birthday parties for the children to celebrate their birthdays. With the help of our donors, we organize food, games and gifts for the children and their siblings. We also take great care in taking care of the environment and organize beach cleanups regularly. The plastic we collect off the beaches are donated to the Bahrain Association for the Parents & Friends of the Disabled; who in turn use the funds from the sale of plastic to recycling plants to purchase wheelchairs for the disabled in Bahrain. We actively work towards feeding the hungry with the support of our donors who always donate in kind. We are currently running a Food Drive to collect dry food items for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our aim is to help as many individuals and families whose livelihood has been compromised due to the global pandemic. Our annual projects include a Ramadan Food Drive and a Winter Appeal. Many local companies and schools support us in our projects.
Our focus right now is to help those whose livelihood are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. With shop and business closures, many have been asked to take unpaid leave and or have been made redundant. There are large numbers of daily wage earners, who no longer have work and they are severely affected. Alhamdullilah we have now exceeded our humble expectations and assisted over 1000 people with relief packs including dry food items, cloth masks, toiletries and sanitary towels for ladies. We are hopeful that this situation will end soon and we wish to help people survive these bad days. The Kingdom and the Medical Teams fighting this pandemic in the forefront are fighting tirelessly to keep Bahrain’s citizens and residents’ safe. The Kingdom has also provided relief to its citizens and residents; easing the burden of many. Yet we continue in our efforts to help people with basic food items so that they have one less expense to worry about.
3. Please describe the journey that led you towards being in your current occupation.
My occupation is in Real Estate – handling Marketing and Business Development for Century 21 Bahrain. I moved to Bahrain in 2015 and had previously never been in the Real Estate Industry. My background was in Advertising and Banking – as I handled New Product Development for American Express Credit Cards in Colombo, Sri Lanka. I visited family living in Bahrain in 2013 and was interested to move to Bahrain as I loved its calm and grounded pace of life. I was active within the Rotaract movement in Colombo and social service was always something I was interested in. I wanted to contribute to society in a positive manner and as such I began to think of how I can give back to Bahrain and its wonderful mix of people. We started off small and are happy to share that we are able to enrich more lives with the work we do.
4. How can a person help out in your initiative?
Right now, we are appealing to the public to help us collect dry food items, such as Rice, Flour, Oil, Dhal, Lentils, Salt, Milk Powder, Tea, Sugar, Canned Foods, Pasta, Beans etc. People are encouraged to purchase items and deliver it to our drop off location in Sanabis or they can purchase food items through All Food Co. All Food Co. partnered with A Box of Goodness to offer fresh vegetables and fruits at cost. As part of their charitable endeavors they will deliver these foods to us at cost. We will work with All Food Co. to hand out the food packs to deserving families. Donors can contact All Food Co. on Instagram to make payments online and share food to our cause by mentioning the code #ABOGAppeal. At the same time people can place an order online from any supermarket, Talabat or InstaShop to have food items delivered to us. All these food items are sorted and packaged to suit the individuals or families they are finally shared with.
For more information: please contact us through our Instagram or Facebook pages.
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/aboxofgoodness/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IkzNkx_xik&t=213s – watch interview from 16:00 for interview on our Beach Cleanup efforts on Bahrain International TV
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/aboxofgoodness/?hl=en
A video shot by Bahrain Credit at one of our Beach Cleanup: https://www.instagram.com/p/B4b-eDEnXEO/
4. Was it an easy journey that led you here?
We have acquired many lessons as we have navigated over the years. It is a very tough job but extremely rewarding knowing that you spread love and happiness to others in need. It is never easy to gain donations and volunteers to support – but we have so far come across many beautiful souls committed to making our initiatives a great success. We are always careful to respect the laws of the land and consult respected individuals for advice before we embark on any project.
5. What advice do you have for a younger @Khaleejigirl who is considering following your footsteps?
Don’t be afraid to have your own voice and your own life – carve your path and work hard for it. Nothing in this world can measure up to the fruits of your own efforts and hard work. Remember that your blessings are not yours alone to enjoy – but it is to be shared so that other lives are enriched and uplifted. Strive to be an angel on earth, doing God’s work and spreading goodness the best way you can.
6. Does your charity work all year round or only during Ramadan as an initiative?
We work throughout the year organizing many different initiatives. Our bi-monthly group birthday parties for the children of Al Sanabel Orphan Care Society is a project we have been doing since 2016 and it brings us much joy to see the children happy and enjoying themselves.
7. Is there a main audience of those you want to help (i.e. expats or elderly Bahrainis) or are you trying to help everyone?
We don’t really look at nationality but aim to help those who are the most in need. Our charity works to assist both locals and expats. Our birthday parties are organized for local orphaned children on a regular basis. There are many Bahraini charities we support and work with; but at the same time we focus our attention on needy expats too.
8. I’m intrigued to know why the charity is unregistered. Is there a reason for that?
Yes because it is not an easy procedure. It requires a board of directors and government approvals. We are a small group and not ready to go big right now.
9. Why is the initiative so important right now?
Our current initiative to assist those affected by the Corona virus pandemic is essential, as so many businesses are closed/restricted due to social distancing measures. The financial burdens on everyone in society is heavy and we hope to provide relief to as many needy families and individuals as we can. We do not operate with financial funding and depend entirely on donors purchasing necessities and sharing it with us. We try to provide relief with dry food items, vegetables, toiletries, cloth masks and sanitary towels for ladies.
10. Do you have anything else you’d like to add that may be important for the KhaleejiGirl audience to know?
You can make a difference – even if you are standing alone. Make your voice loud enough and others will soon join you to make noise.