Dubai Cares: Zero to five million in four years

Dubai Cares: Zero to five million in four years

When Dubai Cares was launched in 2007 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the goal was to provide 1 million children in developing countries with access to quality primary education.

Today, Dubai Cares is reaching 5 million beneficiaries in 24 countries. This accomplishment not only makes Dubai Cares proud, but also motivates it to do more. And, with 69 million children around the world that currently do not go to school, Dubai Cares knows more work still needs to be done.

Dubai Cares Achievements

As a result of Dubai Cares’ work, millions of children around the world now have the opportunity to one day become positive contributors to their communities and their nations. Dubai Cares recognizes that none of its achievements would have been possible without the support of the UAE community.

Thanks to this support, Dubai Cares is:

Dubai Cares: The story so far

Since 2007, Dubai Cares has offered UAE residents several opportunities to give back to communities here at home and to help spread awareness in the UAE of the plight of the millions of children around the world that do not go to school. For example, in 2008 Dubai Cares launched “Volunteer Emirates” for UAE residents to volunteer in support of non-profit schools throughout the UAE. As part of the initiative, UAE residents helped rehabilitate 66 classrooms, constructed and landscaped 3 playgrounds, created 8 murals, cleared play areas from potentially hazardous rubbish and painted school furniture.

In 2009, Dubai Cares launched the “Water Bucket Walk” which highlighted the need to provide children with clean drinking water as part of its mandate to provide children with access to quality primary education. As part of the initiative, Dubai Cares invited the UAE community to participate in the event and walk a symbolic 3-km in support of children who do not have access to clean drinking water in schools around the world. The walk helped raise awareness of the plight of children in developing countries who have to walk, on average, more than 6 km every day to collect water that is likely to make them sick, thus keeping them out of school.  

In 2010, Dubai Cares attracted thousands of UAE residents who participated in the “Walk for Education” in support of children in developing countries who walk an average of 3 kilometers everyday to go to school. The walk was attended by various members of the UAE community including school children, university students, members of social clubs and corporate and government entities. That same year, Dubai Cares also organized an Arabic stand-up comedy show featuring comedian Wonho Chung, “Laugh with Wonho Chung”, offering the audience an opportunity to enjoy a fun-filled evening with family, relatives and friends. The event was also an opportunity for people to learn more about Dubai Cares’ “School Feeding Campaign”.

In 2011, beginning the Holy Month of Ramadan, which coincided with the start of August, and running the entire month until Eid Al Fitr, Dubai Cares launched its “Girls’ Education Campaign 2011”, to increase awareness of the importance of girls’ education and raise funds to support Dubai Cares programs that address gender imbalances in primary education. One of the highlights of the campaign was a special initiative by Dubai Cares at The Dubai Mall where mall visitors helped build a mock classroom with book-shaped foam bricks they purchased bearing their name. Located in the mall’s Star Atrium, the classroom remained on display throughout the Holy Month of Ramadan. All funds raised support Dubai Cares girls’ primary education programs globally. 

In support of World Food Day on October 16, 2011, Dubai Cares launched "Dine Out for Somalia", a fundraising campaign to provide children in southern Somalia with much needed food and nutrition to prevent diseases and death caused by starvation. Launched to help combat the famine in the African country, described by the United Nations as the worst in a generation, the campaign aimed to help save the lives of as many Somali children as possible. The campaign received tremendous support from the UAE’s hospitality industry, with 145 restaurants, representing around 80 restaurant brands, participating and contributing towards raising funds by encouraging their customers to donate.

Dubai Cares organized the 2011 edition of Volunteer Emirates, an initiative originally launched by the philanthropic organization in 2008 to mobilize volunteers, UAE residents and various sectors of the UAE community in support of local initiatives. In October, Volunteer Emirates took over 120 volunteers from the UAE community to help renovate and refurbish Manar Al Iman Private School in Ajman. Some of the volunteers included employees from Standard Chartered and Abraaj Capital as well as Dubai Cares staff. 

In November, Dubai Cares pioneered the Dubai Cares Student Club, launched with the support of Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) in Dubai. Aiming to promote a spirit of philanthropy and social responsibility among students, the initiative will run through 2012. 

And, finally, as recent as February 17, 2012, Dubai Cares held its annual walk. Over 3,500 UAE residents turned out for Walk for Education 2012, walking 3-kms along Jumeirah Beach Road in solidarity with children in developing countries with limited or no access to quality primary education. The 3-kms represented the average distance millions of children around the world have to walk to go to school. Several organizations from throughout the UAE particpated in and supported the walk. The walk was followed by activities for adults and children in Jumeriah Beach Park.