Support for the Dubai Cares Distinguished Philanthropic Award in Schools is gaining momentum as 100 schools in the United Arab Emirates have already registered to take part in the school award which is organized by Dubai Cares in partnership with the Ministry of Education (MoE), the Knowledge and the Human Development Authority (KHDA), and sponsored by iConnect, an Apple Authorized Reseller.
Launched in May 2015, the school award challenges students to become aspiring philanthropists and entrepreneurs by creating and executing effective fundraising projects in support of Dubai Cares, the UAE-based global philanthropic organization working towards providing children in developing countries with access to quality education.
Dr. Saleem Khan, Head teacher at GEMS The Millennium School, explains how his students have fully embraced the spirit of the award, "The level of participation is phenomenal; the students are very motivated to submit their own ideas and to make a difference. The students will be hosting a youth carnival, which will include live entertainment, a raffle, games and stalls selling healthy food to name just a few. We are expecting over 7,000 people to attend and this presents our school a fantastic opportunity to create awareness as well as raise funds for Dubai Cares."
Elsewhere at Nad Al Hamar Elementary School, the pupils have been embracing the power of social media as part of their projects. Maisaa Mohammad Al Osaimi, who is coordinating the project on behalf of the school explains: "Our students are keen to generate interest and support for their fundraising efforts by using social media platforms to share information on the Award with a wider audience. Our school students have been enthusiastically contacting social media influencers and local celebrities to promote the school's fundraising projects which include a designated Dubai Cares stand where individuals can make donations, and personalized fundraising envelopes addressed to parents. It is wonderful to see our students so excited to take part in the challenge and eager to help children elsewhere around the world through the work of Dubai Cares."
The award is divided into two categories; The Young Philanthropists Award and The Philanthropic School Award. The first recognizes the group of students with the most creative fundraising project, while the second rewards the school that raises the highest amount of funds. Participation is open to all public and private schools in the UAE, with each school having the choice of selecting one or both award categories to compete for.
Speaking about the success of the Award so far, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares said: "I am overwhelmed by the positive response of schools and students in the UAE. It is heartening to see young people innovate and inspire one another to generate funds in support of children less privileged than themselves in developing countries. The philanthropic values instilled in our children through initiatives such as this will last a lifetime, and will encourage the next generation to continue the work of Dubai Cares and other like-minded organizations. We look forward to recognizing the talents of our youth through this Award."
This is the second consecutive year that Dubai Cares has invited the UAE's youth to explore their creative talents in support of children's education in developing countries. The Dubai Cares 2014 Creative Challenge encouraged students to reimagine the #MyDubai social media campaign, by expressing their own vision of Dubai through painting and decorating a canvas.
There is still time for schools to register and take part. Entries must be submitted by 30 November 2015 and the winners will be announced at a recognition ceremony in January 2016. During the ceremony, iConnect will be awarding the five winners in the Young Philanthropists Award category with the latest Macbook Airs and the winning school in the Philanthropic School Award will be awarded 30 iPads.