Under normal circumstances, Go Shalabi is a speedboat tour and transfer operator. The company has two objectives: getting customers from A to B in a fleet of first class vehicles and organizing tours of the beautiful Egyptian coastline from the water. This changed, however, due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Go Shalabi switched from dolphin watching tours to deliveries and began helping those vulnerable in their community by distributing food packages to families impacted by coronavirus.
Mohamed Shalabi is the owner of Go Shalabi based in Hurghada in Egypt. He usually focused on making sure travelers can enjoy beautiful views of the mountains along the Red Sea coast to Cairo, or heading to the amazing swimming and diving spots around Giftun Island.
This all changed a few months ago after all tourism activities were suspended in Egypt. Mohamed realized the scale of the impact that the regulations were having on the tourism industry with small businesses like his own and freelancers employed to give tours amongst the most severely affected.
This realization gave way to a plan to keep his staff employed, engaged, and have a positive impact on their tightly-knit community: using their fleet of cars to deliver parcels of food on a small yet meaningful scale.
“I realized I wanted to help. That has become my purpose, to help my community now and even beyond COVID.”
What began as a small endeavour quickly increased to delivering to more than 100 families a day. Mohamed’s use of social media spread the word and his live videos on Facebook encouraged other businesses, small and large, to join his efforts. Through the delivery of food packages to those in need, he has been able to support the freelancers and tour guides that much of the tourism industry relies on. Together, they have since been able to provide food packages for more than 3,500 families.
His own business has suffered since the outbreak of coronavirus and yet his priorities have shifted to the wellbeing of his community.
“COVID-19 will reshape our world. Everybody has been taught a lesson through this phase and all we can do is learn from it and keep on going.”
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Check our first story from Thiago in Rio de Janeiro here.