Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has revealed the scale and impact of its philanthropic efforts for 2017, the “Year of Giving”. The UAE-based global philanthropic organization spent a total of AED 150.78 million (USD 41 million) in 2017, as well as launched 26 new programs and supported 2 million additional beneficiaries globally, bringing the total number of beneficiaries to 18 million in 57 developing countries. As a result, Dubai Cares has expanded its reach into 8 new countries, which are Antigua and Barbuda, Colombia, Gambia, Kiribati, Madagascar, Peru, St. Vincent & Grenadines and Zimbabwe.
Being the implementer of the Reading Nation Campaign, which is an initiative launched in 2016 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Dubai Cares also successfully delivered 5 million books in 15 countries to children in schools, libraries and Syrian refugee camps, thereby fulfilling the initial target set for the “Reading Nation” campaign. The investment resulted in books distributed in Algeria, Cambodia, Jordan, India, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Nepal, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Vietnam as well as in UAE-based hospitals in Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaima and Fujairah.
In 2017, Dubai Cares also engaged more than 3,200 volunteers and 14,500 supporters, compared to 1,215 volunteers and 10,500 supporters in 2016 in its local and global community engagement and volunteering initiatives, namely “Volunteer Emirates”, “Volunteer Globally” and “Walk for Education”. This increase was namely due to Dubai Cares emphasis on contributing to the success of “Year of Giving 2017” by increasing its editions of “Volunteer Emirates” from 4 in 2016 to 8 editions in 2017.
As for Dubai Cares’ fundraising efforts, Dubai Cares has witnessed a successful year in terms of funds raised in support of its local and global activities and programs, with the most successful fundraising initiative for the year being “Adopt a School”. UAE-based individuals and organizations adopted 18 schools in Cambodia, Malawi, Nepal, Palestine and Senegal in the same year. Another successful fundraising initiative was the fundraising drive in support of the Rohingya refugee children in Bangladesh, which reached its fundraising target of AED 1,836,750 (USD 500,000) that will help provide Rohingya refugee children with a sense of normalcy, to enable them to build a future they can look forward to.
Reflecting on the year’s activities, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares said: “2017 was a dynamic and rewarding year for Dubai Cares, particularly in terms of our programmatic intervention and our fundraising and community engagement efforts. In the last quarter of 2016, we put in place big plans for the organization for 2017 and with the launch of the UAE’s ‘Year of Giving 2017’ these plans became even more challenging and ambitious.”
Together with its implementing partners, which include UN agencies as well as international and local NGOs, Dubai Cares has managed to increase the level of enrollment in schools, assured gender equality, reduced dropout rates, improved the quality of education, across all programs and contributed to the global body of evidence-based best practices. In quantifiable terms, Dubai Cares built and renovated over the past ten year, 2,000 schools and classrooms; provided more than 780 water wells and potable water sources and constructed more than 6,035 latrines in schools; provided nutritious food to 484,500 children in schools; trained over 94,330 teachers; kept more than 34.4 million children free from intestinal worms through de-worming activities; distributed over 3 million books written in local languages; and established over 7,190 Parent-Teacher Associations.
“I am happy to say that Dubai Cares continues to play a key role in advancing the education development agenda by championing and delivering innovative programs and policies globally. Our achievements are not just restricted to facts and figures, Dubai Cares has successfully contributed to generating more and better evidence to inform and influence decision and policy-makers on what works and what models of delivery of education offer the greatest potential for impact in terms of providing quality education in developing countries,” Al Gurg added.
Dubai Cares continued in 2017 to advocate for children and young people’s right to education globally. The organization also extended its reach in 2017 to address the systemic factors and causes behind the large number of out-of-school children and youth globally by placing emphasis on funding interventions in areas where governments are unable to provide services - such as Education in Emergencies; funding for research-oriented programs; and establishing pilot initiatives that provide meaningful and valuable information for governments, policymakers, and civil society, to support them in defining an educational framework for the future. 2017 also witnessed Dubai Cares further increasing its focus on Early Childhood Development, as well as venture into new areas such as secondary education, youth empowerment, vocational training, skills development, job creation and entrepreneurship. Moreover, Dubai Cares continued its effort to leverage funds through catalytic financing and co-funded interventions to maximize its reach and impact.
2017 also marked Dubai Cares’ 10th anniversary, and to celebrate the occasion, the organization hosted a special ceremony to extend its gratitude to the UAE community for its generous support over the past decade. The ceremony was attended by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai; Crown Prince of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Her Excellency Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Chairperson of Dubai Cares and His Excellency Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares. At the conclusion of the ceremony, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum honored key individual and corporate donors and supporters from the public, private, and semi-government sectors that have continuously supported Dubai Cares. His Highness also unveiled a monument which featured and recognized the names of every single Dubai Cares donor who has supported the organization over the past decade.
“Ten years ago when Dubai Cares was launched, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum planted the seed of this humanitarian initiative, and together we have nurtured it and helped it grow. His belief in the power of education is a source of inspiration for every one of us at Dubai Cares. We look forward to continue to advocate for quality education and strengthen the UAE’s leadership in the global humanitarian sector, guided by the vision and directives of His Highness,” Al Gurg added.
In 2017, Dubai Cares was recipient of three awards and recognitions which included recognition by outgoing director general of UNESCO Ms. Irina Bokova for being a global leader in the international education arena. In addition, Dubai cares received the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) Award in Porto city, Portugal in recognition of its strong and visible commitment, outstanding achievement, and active advocacy for quality education in in Mediterranean countries; and most recently, the organization received the UAE Pioneer Award in honor of its service to the nation and its pioneering spirit and for being among the first organizations in the philanthropic field.
“As we gear up for the ‘Year of Zayed 2018’, we remain committed to Education – and to working in line with the United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education, and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all,” Al Gurg concluded.