A few months ago, Kuwait was experiencing a full lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fear and anxiety were rampant as families were ordered to stay indoors to avoid the spread of the virus. Some neighborhoods were even in total isolation, blocked out from the world for months. The lockdown only widened the gap between those who were privileged enough to have access to food, basic necessities, and a roof over their heads with those that were struggling to survive without a job, steady income, or any idea when this uncertainty will end. 

Kuwaiti Volunteer Group, Trashtag, in action

Volunteer groups started amassing in Kuwait to help as much as they could during this overwhelming humanitarian crisis. They delivered food to lockdown areas, helped in paying rent to those at risk of eviction, and sent care packages filled with necessities.

Months later and the aftermath of the initial lockdown has not shifted. Minority groups, especially bidoon and migrant workers, are still struggling. 

Kuwaiti volunteer group, The Basket, in action

We at Khaleejesque wanted to help the teams on the ground but didn’t really know how. After looking for inspiration from other initiatives across the world, we came up with an idea and decided to reach out to our creative community to make a change. As an indie platform ourselves, we reached out to grassroots groups that were working on the ground and documenting their efforts. We also reached out to designers, illustrators, and creatives in our community to see if they’d be interested in collaborating. 

The result? We launched Press F1, an initiative that pairs local volunteer groups with local designers to create exclusive t-shirts. 100% of proceeds of these sales will go to fund volunteer groups in their humanitarian initiatives.

The volunteer groups we worked with are: Trashtag Kuwait, Istiqrar, The Basket, and Good Deed Squad, and were paired with these Kuwaiti artists and designer: Mishari Alnajjar, Amal Alajmi, and Sheikha Al Habshi.  

T-shirt designs available for purchase on ilbox.me

It took us around 3 months to create the site, secure a production partner, coordinate between the volunteer groups and designers, finalize the t-shirt designs, and sample the final prints.

Today, we’re excited to share that we’ve made more than 3,900 USD in the first week since launching and are in the process of matching new volunteer groups with new designers. 

To know more about the volunteer groups and designers, and to shop the exclusive t shirts, please visit www.ilbox.me  

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