• 10 May 2015

As part of Volunteer Emirates 2015, one of Dubai Cares local community engagement initiatives, 100 Volunteers from around the UAE visited the Ahmad Bin Rashid Primary School in Umm Al Quwain to give the boys school a significant facelift. Dubai Cares has created Volunteer Emirates in an effort to bring together UAE-based volunteers in order to upgrade the learning environments of public schools around the UAE.

The second edition of Volunteer Emirates 2015 was sponsored by Visa, which supported Dubai Cares and the volunteer group that travelled to Umm Al Quwain to undertake the maintenance and landscaping work in the school premises. Led by Dubai Cares, the volunteers painted over 160 tyres to outline the school football field and helped install tables and chairs, sports equipment, computers, lab equipment as well as playground facilities in the school. To brighten up the hallways and school grounds, the volunteers also painted murals around the school and landscaped the outdoor areas.

Thanking the volunteers for their efforts, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares said: "I would like to commend all the volunteers who put in a lot of hard work and creativity into giving the Ahmad Bin Rashid Primary School in Umm Al Quwain a new look. As an organization committed to facilitating quality primary education for children in developing countries, we understand the importance of a safe, creative and stimulating learning environment. Having schools that help students discover and explore all their talents – be it sports, art or academics – is key to quality educational experience. We are grateful to Visa for empowering us and the volunteers to successfully conduct this edition of Volunteer Emirates 2015."

Marcello Baricordi, General Manager - UAE and Global Accounts Lead, Visa MENA said: "Visa is delighted to support the second edition of Dubai Cares Volunteer Emirates 2015, which is truly commendable given its impact and reach across schools in the country. The efforts of the volunteers, including Visa employees, to improve the school's facilities and surroundings will go a long way in making the children's academic lives better and memorable. Dubai Cares focus on education is one we identify with and invest in through Visa's financial literacy program in the UAE and across the world. In the years ahead, we will continue to pursue efforts to be locally responsible citizens through community development in all the markets we are present in."

Mariam Saif Al Ghefali, Principal, Ahmad Bin Rashid Primary School said: "Volunteering is a national duty of the citizens and expatriates in the UAE. It is a social responsibility that is part and parcel of our human values. Dubai Cares' initiative is aligned to the vision of the leadership of the UAE, who aim to develop the country into one of the best by 2021. With the help of the management and volunteers of Dubai Cares, we have been able to accomplish a lot of work that will add value to the learning experience of the students."

"It is very important to give back to the community. This initiative will make the children happy and helps us invest our time in socially critical work," said Eman Al Awadhi, a volunteer at the event.

"I believe a lot in providing an enjoyable atmosphere for children while they study, and what is better than colours and paints and having the walls fuel their imagination. These murals are just a small part of that so I hope that this helps them to think larger, just the way that Dubai actually does – larger than everything that can ever be imagined," stated volunteer Mridula Gummuluri.

"Voluteering is something we have been doing for a while now because it is the way we are giving back for the blessings we have received. We work in Dubai and by giving back through Dubai Cares, we are able to give back to the local community," said Ericson Tolentino

Dubai Cares kicked off Volunteer Emirates 2015 in March by refurbishing the all-girls ZamZam School in Kharan, Ras Al Khaimah. The activity attracted 100 volunteers who worked together to enhance the gym, outdoors and classrooms for the school's 600 female students.

Residents of the UAE interested in taking part in the 3rd and last edition of Volunteer Emirates 2015 can register online at www.dubaicares.ae

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