Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares and Vice-Chairman of its Board of Directors
Education is the foundation for development and empowerment for children and young people around the world. It has the tremendous ability to improve people’s lives, reduce poverty, sustain economic growth, and help build a more peaceful world. Driven by this belief, we strive to extend the power of education and shine its light on millions of underprivileged and vulnerable children and young people, regardless of their gender, religion, race and nationality.
In September 2007, a leader, visionary and humanitarian embarked on a mission that was solely driven by the desire to provide children the opportunity to learn and build a promising future for themselves and their communities through education. Ten years ago, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai planted the seed, and together we have nurtured it and helped it grow into one of the leading global philanthropic organizations based in the UAE. It was under His Highness’s wise leadership that the vision of Dubai Cares became a reality.
For the past 12 years, Dubai Cares, part of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has been delivering programs that are based on, or contribute to the evidence base. We have been drilling down to the essence of the issue, taking the lead in dealing with lesser-known obstacles to education such as lack of gender sensitive sanitation facilities or adequate student nutrition or health. As a result, we have managed to increase the level of enrollment in schools, reduce dropout rates, improve the quality of education, assure gender equality across all programs and contribute to the global body of evidence-based best practices.
All Dubai Cares’ education programs to date have focused on monitoring, evaluation and learning as well as provided equal opportunities for girls and boys to access safe learning environments with adequate facilities, materials and academic support from gender sensitized teachers and communities.
Currently, we are working together with UN agencies as well as international and local NGOs to support countries in their efforts towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) – to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.
As part of our new mandate, we have expanded our efforts to put Dubai Cares in the front lines of education in emergencies to safeguard children affected by crises and provide them with the opportunity to learn and cope during and after crises. Further, we are providing funding for interventions in areas where governments have limited resources or are unable to provide services in situations of conflict, natural disasters and epidemics. In addition, our scope of work will now focus on early childhood development, children and young people of determination, access to secondary and tertiary education, technical and vocational education and training, adult literacy, global citizenship as well as improving learning outcomes.
As we continue to create impact in developing countries through our wide-range of programmatic interventions, we also engage the UAE community in our community engagement and volunteering initiatives. These initiatives include the annual Walk for Education, Volunteer Emirates and Volunteer Globally.
Finally, I would like to say that we are grateful to all our donors, partners and supporters within the UAE community and abroad for their tremendous generosity and support. This support has enabled us to transform the lives of over 20 million children in 60 developing countries. Dubai Cares will continue without hesitation to positively influence the lives of the most vulnerable children and young people by helping them build a prosperous and promising future powered by strong quality education.