ANERA, a non-governmental organization working towards improving the lives of Palestinian refugees and poor families in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan and Lebanon, has recognized the ongoing support of Dubai Cares at its Annual Dinner held recently (4 October 2013) in Washington D.C.
Dubai Cares has been commended for its support in improving the quality of primary education in Palestinian Territories and for its efforts towards eliminating the social and economic obstacles that keep Palestinian primary-age children from going to school and learning.
Commenting on the honor, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Careswho attended the event and received the honor, said: “This is a very special honor for us as it highlights the accomplishments of the UAE philanthropic community in the Palestinian territories. It also calls attention to the work that still needs to be done to help developing countries achieve, by 2015, the United Nations Millennium Development Goals 2 and 3 - namely, to guarantee universal primary education and promote gender equality, respectively.”
Dubai Cares has been a staunch supporter of ANERA’s ground-breaking Right Start! Program, a national early childhood education strategy that focuses on investing in improving preschools, training teachers, producing resources and addressing wider educational issues in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
“Children are the most impacted by war and displacement, and the opportunities they lose as a consequence are unacceptable. Dubai Cares is committed to ensuring that all primary-age children, irrespective of nationality, age or creed, have access to quality primary education. Right Start! is a program that resonated with us as it is focused, results-driven and promotes a stimulating learning environment by incorporating creative elements, such as art, drama and play amongst children who have been subjected to the rigors and tensions surrounding a conflict,” Al Gurg concluded.
Dubai Cares was one of three honorees at this year’s ANERA Annual Dinner, which was attended by supporters, diplomats from Middle Eastern embassies, representatives from the international NGO community and philanthropists.
Bill Corcoran, ANERA President, said: "Dubai Cares has promoted a love of learning among young Palestinian children, which means building a better future for generations to come. We are delighted to have this opportunity to honor Dubai Cares for their vital contributions to early childhood education."
Dubai Cares has a strong focus on the Palestinian territories, partnering with UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) to launch a deworming program in Gaza and West Bank schools where 235,329 school children were dewormed, 105,963 students received iron supplementation and 60,000 health education materials were distributed. Dubai Cares also partnered with the World Food Programme (WFP) to implement a School Feeding Program targeting 80,000 children in 145 primary schools during the 2011/2012, providing children with a 60 grams fortified date bar that is purchased locally and meets the specifications of the Palestinian Authority.
These programs are in line with the ‘Global Education First Initiative’ launched by United Nations’ Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in September 2012 to renew and reinvigorate global commitments to education. Dubai Cares attended the launch of this global initiative during the week of the UN General Assembly in New York, where Ban Ki-Moon selected Dubai Cares to be a member in the Technical Advisory Group of the initiative.
At present, there are 57 million primary-aged children out of school. Dubai Cares mission to increase children’s access to quality primary education is realized through integrated programs that eliminate the underlying obstacles that prevent children from going to school and learning. This is achieved through school feeding, school deworming activities, early childhood education, curriculum development, literacy and numeracy through teacher training, building and renovating schools and classrooms as well as Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in schools.