• 30 April 2016

Volunteer Emirates, one of Dubai Cares' most popular volunteering initiatives, has kicked off with the first edition of 2016 taking place at the National Charity School for Girls inMaysaloon, Sharjah.The first of four planned editions for the year saw125 volunteers from the UAE come together to help enrich the school's learning environment by providing equipment and school furniture as well asimproving learning conditionsfor more than 1,200 students.

Speaking about the event, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares said, "We first launched Volunteer Emirates in 2008 and it gives me great pride to reveal that the initiative has been growing in popularity over the years. This grassroots movement, in-line with the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, offers volunteers a unique opportunity to truly engage with the local community and make a difference. We have been very fortunate to receive the ongoing support of Visa that has helped us maintain the powerful momentum going into 2016. Together, we will continue to build on initiatives of this kind, and further develop sustainable and inspiring learning environments for children all over the Emirates."

Dubai Cares partnered with Visa for the opening edition of Volunteer Emirates, as well as involved 25 volunteers from the company. Visa is also playing a wider role in Dubai Cares'mission to bring quality education to children around the world, particularly by extending support to initiatives such as Dubai Cares' annual Ramadan campaign.

NaamatBaradhy, Visa Head of Corporate Communications, Middle East and North Africa region, said: "Visa is delighted to once again partner with Dubai Cares in enhancing the environment of schools around the UAE to make them more stimulating and safer for children. The partnership is a natural fit to Visa's commitment of being a locally responsible citizen by supporting organizations such as Dubai Cares, and providing our employees opportunities to be active participants in the betterment of the communities in which we operate. Visa has been a longstanding partner of Dubai Cares and we personally identify with their focus on education through our financial literacy programs in the UAE and across the world. We will continue to pursue efforts to be locally responsible citizens through similar volunteering and community development initiatives."

Participating volunteers joined the Dubai Cares team in assembling 650 desks and chairs for students, installing an additional shade in the playgrounds, installing new white boards in classrooms, providing new sports equipment as well as 30 new desks and chairs for teachers.

"The new equipment, additional learning materials, and refurbishments will completely rejuvenate the learning experience for the children, as well as set a wonderful example of the unity and dedication of the people of the United Arab Emirates." said Abdulla Al Shehhi, Director of Business Support, Dubai Cares.

Anjum Hassan who is volunteering alongside one of her students at Delhi Private School in Sharjah said, "We are very fortunate to be part of this initiative and to be supporting Dubai Cares in its great work. When a large group of people come together, they can make a big difference."

Haseeba who is a first time volunteer with Dubai Cares said, "It is a wonderful experience being with such a diverse group of volunteers. Volunteering at charity schools is a beautiful concept."

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