School girl Romilly Gray is on a quest to support animal welfare in Dubai

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The ten-year old animal welfare enthusiast is on a mission to inspire and encourage people to support the cause.

British school girl and Springs resident, Romilly Gray, aged 10, is on a mission to inspire and encourage others to take action to support animal welfare in the UAE.  This weekend, her homemade dog biscuits will be sold in Aria and Bianca Cafe in JLT.  All of the proceeds will go towards a sponsorship package at K9 friends, an adoption shelter in Dubai which Romilly has chosen to support.

Romilly moved to Dubai in summer 2023 and immediately wanted to do something to help animals in need.  Aisling Gray, Romilly’s mother commented: “Romilly cannot walk past a stray animal without giving it a stroke, cuddle or another form of attention and love.  If the animal is too far away or does not want to be touched, she will blow kisses to it from afar.  When she walks away, she is in tears and she cannot put the animal out of her mind.  We have tried to encourage Romilly to think about small actions she can take so that she can channel her empathy and sadness and have a positive impact.  ALOA is the result of that.”

In April 2023, Romilly spoke to her form teacher and her headmaster at Arcadia in Jumeirah Village Triangle to propose a new school club of like-minded children called ALOA – Animal Lovers of Arcadia.  The school fully embraced the idea and gave Romilly permission to put up posters about ALOA, host a weekly club and speak in both the senior and junior school assemblies to raise even more awareness about ALOA and its goals.

Romilly, who also loves singing and gymnastics has recruited about 30 ALOA members and since April this year, Romilly and her friends have met weekly to brainstorm ideas about how they can support animal welfare.  They have devised a full programme of ideas for the 2023/2024 school year including dog walks, bake sales, art competitions and more.  In the meantime, Romilly and her friends immediately began more individual efforts around their local communities, selling homemade lemonade, brownies, cakes and cookies and making 800aed in the process.  All of this money will go towards the sponsorship package at K9 Friends.

On her return to Dubai this summer, Romilly – a keen baker who loves making dog biscuits for her own pup, Ori – made a batch of dog biscuits for local dog owners in The Springs/Meadows area where she lives.  After posting about it on the local dog park’s WhatsApp group, Romilly’s mum was approached by Zain who runs Aria and Bianca Cafe – a dog-friendly cafe in JLT and offered to sell Romilly’s dog biscuits.

The first batch will be sold this weekend at Aria and Bianca on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd September.