As of late, I’ve made it my aim to learn more about where the products I buy come from and the footprint they leave on the world – socially just as well as environmentally. To my pleasant surprise, on being gifted a box of Dates4Palestine by a family friend, investigation took me further and further down a path of positive impacts as a result of this purchase, a nice change from reading about unethical manufacture and products designed to fail. My favourite and the ultimate effect it created was that of a domino. A beam on our faces when we received such a gift, the will to buy more for others, the subsequent smile on their faces, and so on and so forth.
The Date Project is unique from any other in that it is a charitable initiative whereby anyone can purchase tins of Jordanian Medjool Dates for themselves and are encouraged to as a gift. The demand for dates around the time of Ramadan arises as they are highly nutritious and commonly used to break the fast at Iftar each day.
I was astounded by the choice of 5 different tin designs all of which support respective causes: providing families in Syria with bread, water for Palestinians in need, food for Yemen, food and aid in Rohingya, and education to orphans. The project pledges for 100% of profits to support these causes and prides itself on maintaining a relatively low price of £10 for such high quality dates as well as free delivery (which is extremely appealing to consumers!) – thanks to the work of amazing volunteers who offer to deliver date purchases in their local areas. Furthermore, it can be speculated that businesses sponsor The Date Project, in order to make them capable of keeping their prices so reasonable and I admire this as it embraces the values Muslims uphold, particularly in Ramadan: community, charity and selflessness.
I was really impressed on opening the tin with the wealth of information about the project on the tin itself, the dates well-packaged with an Eid-Al-Fitr celebration card designed by an orphan (the cards differ based on the tin designs). As I had hoped, the Jordanian Medjool dates were sweet and scrumptious, and huge in comparison with other types of date – making them perfect for milkshakes to have at suhoor for extra energy, or simply to break the fast with at Iftar.
Thus far, I was really content with my experience, but then started to think about the environmental implications – there was minimal plastic packaging other than that necessary to keep the dates in good condition, paper leaflets which could easily be recycled – but wondered what would happen to the tins as the designs change each year. And only recently did i realise on the inside of the tin a project whereby you can fill the tin with small gifts and return it to local checkpoints where they will be given to children!
I was well and truly satisfied with this and look forward to filling my finished tins in the future.
By Tahmina Sayfi