Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has had quite a productive year. As a UAE-based global philanthropic organization that works towards providing children in developing countries with access to quality education, Dubai Cares today announced its success stories from the past year and outlined its plans for the coming years during its participation in the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference & Exhibition (DIHAD) 2016.
Highlighting significant initiatives from the past year, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares stated: "The climax of the past year was the establishment of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives with the aim to implement over 1,400 human development programs in more than 116 countries around the world, targeting 130 million in need by 2025. In line with the vision of the parent foundation and with the ongoing high-level advocacy for development by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Cares is committed to playing an integral role in achieving the foundation's objectives over the next decade."
It is the philanthropic consciousness and global solidarity of the people of the UAE which allowed Dubai Cares to achieve remarkable success and maintain momentum. In late 2015, Dubai Cares joined United Nations representatives and other agencies in New York to discuss the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the next 15 years. Dubai Cares also co-hosted an event on the sidelines of the week of the 70th United Nations General Assembly in New York to announce that it will be championing education in emergencies in order to provide quality education to children affected by crisis.
Programmatically, Dubai Cares contributed AED 5 million to support the 'UAE Compassion' drive by UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to help Syrian refugees. The organization also launched a AED 4.9 million bilingual educational program in Senegal to benefit 10,500 children, 300 teachers and head teachers and 24 education inspectors. In addition, Dubai Cares contributed AED 11 million to the world's largest school-based deworming program in India.
In addition to conducting numerous 'monitoring, evaluation and learning' field visits in beneficiary countries to assess the impact of its ongoing programs and look into new program development, Dubai Cares was busy throughout the past year spreading awareness about the education cause globally and locally through participating in events such as the World Education Forum in Korea, the Oslo Summit On Education for Development, the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid & Development Conference & Exhibition (DIHAD) and the Global Child Forum in Sweden.
Closer to home, the Dubai Cares award-winning "We Can Teach Each Other" Ramadan campaign received support from 33 public and private sector organizations as well as the UAE community at large. In addition, 26 schools were adopted globally by Dubai Cares donors as part of the organization's 'Adopt a School' initiative, with each school benefitting an average of 150 students. In 2015 and in just two days, over 3,500 volunteers packed 50,000 school kits for the children of Gaza as part of Dubai Cares' 'Rebuild Palestine. Start with Education. initiative. Moreover, 8,000 community members including hundreds of volunteers participated in the Dubai Cares Walk for Education 2015. Hundreds of volunteers also participated in Dubai Cares Volunteer Emirates last year. Furthermore, over 100 public and private schools across the UAE took part in the Dubai Cares Distinguished Philanthropic Award in Schools 2015.
Looking forward, Dubai Cares aims to play an active role in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, designing and funding new education in emergencies programs in areas of conflict, natural disaster and epidemic, focusing on Early Childhood Development to enhance quality of education, promoting children's transition from primary to lower secondary education as well as continuing its investment in evidence-based programming and action research.
These efforts are set to be taken into the future with an emphasis on education in emergencies, which has become a global concern for many, with more than 37 million children and adolescents worldwide being forced out of education by war. Of the 19.5 million refugees that have been displaced by conflict, it is estimated that around 50% are children.
Commenting on the organization's achievements so far, Tariq Al Gurg stated: "It is with the vision and direction of our founder His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, that Dubai Cares has managed to reach this far, providing education to marginalized children in the most rural areas worldwide. The last 8 years are testament to our hard work and commitment, with a string of initiatives coming to fruition. We have traveled around the developing world to initiate vitally important activities in support of needy communities. As Dubai Cares enters its ninth year, the world enters another year of hostility, volatility and struggle. With our existing and planned programs in the area of education in emergencies, we hope to reduce the humanitarian impact these crises are having on affected children."
In the UAE, Dubai Cares will continue its efforts to spread awareness and raise funds through its campaigns and initiatives comprising the annual Ramadan campaign, Walk for Education, school initiative, community engagement activities, fundraising partnerships, Volunteer Emirates, as well as Volunteer Globally.
So far, Dubai Cares is reaching more than 14 million beneficiaries in 41 developing countries. Through its programs that are based on, or contribute to the evidence-base, the organization drills 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, the organization has managed to increase enrollment rates in schools, reduced dropout rates, improve the quality of education, and assure gender equality across all programs while contributing to the global body of evidence-based best practices.