Dubai Cares continued to strengthen its global presence and impact in 2019 by providing equitable access to quality education and learning opportunities for children and youth, inspiring and urging the UAE community to further give back, as well as embedding the spirit of volunteerism within the country. 2019 also marked Dubai Cares’ full alignment with Article 9 of the Fifty-Year Charter announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Dubai Cares crosses AED 1 billion in grants
2019 also marked the year Dubai Cares has crossed AED 1,000,000,000 (USD 272,219,953) in financial commitment towards global education through programming, research and advocacy, thus impacting the lives of 20 million individuals across 59 developing countries. The UAE-based global philanthropic organization built and renovated 2,046 classrooms and schools, trained 123,725 teachers, distributed 6,875,179 books in the local language, and established 8,437 parent-teacher associations. The organization also provided nutritious food to 509,294 school children, delivered 1,100 water wells and potable water sources, supplied 6,272 latrines in schools, and provided de-worming treatment to 55 million schoolchildren through stand-alone national de-worming programs.
Dubai Cares also continued to focus on early childhood development; access to quality primary and secondary education; technical and vocational education and training for youth as well as education in emergencies and protracted crises.
New programs added to Dubai Cares’ 2019 portfolio
Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, achieved major milestones in 2019, with the launch of 29 new educational programs worth AED 113.3 million (USD 30.85 million) across 23 developing countries, out of which two are new countries: Tajikistan and Togo. This achievement brings the total number of programs that address pressing issues related to access and quality of education to 212. Dubai Cares also invested a total of AED 14,183,379 (USD 3,860,999) in 10 research projects to generate evidence required for governments, policymakers, teachers and civil society to improve the quality of education within schools. The commissioned research focused on Early Childhood Education (ECE), Education in Emergencies & Quality of Teaching and Learning for children and youth.
As part of its continued advocacy efforts to improve access to education in emergencies, Dubai Cares renewed its strategic support to Education Cannot Wait by pledging an additional AED 13,775,625 (USD 3,750,000). The UAE-based global philanthropic organization also entered into new strategic partnerships with the Centre of New Economy and Society of the World Economic Forum (WEF) during the Annual Meeting in Davos to support the reskilling revolution with a push to provide skills to 15 million people by 2021, as well as with the International Publishers Association (IPA), focusing on indigenous language and its importance to increase literacy levels in Africa.
In 2019, Dubai Cares also launched 3 Education in Emergencies programs. These programs totaling (AED18,712,937) USD 5,094,034 are implemented in Iraq, Mozambique and Jordan reaching 162,300 beneficiaries.
Speaking about a year where Dubai Cares embarked on many innovative solutions to global education, Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares and Member of its Board of Directors said: “Our continued success stems from our founder, His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s far-sighted vision which has positioned the UAE as a global leader in philanthropic and humanitarian work, and Dubai Cares is one of many examples that embody that vision and success. As a UAE-based global philanthropic organization, today, we are at the forefront internationally in terms of global footprint and impact as a result of His Highness’s firm belief in the power of education and his continuous guidance to Dubai Cares.”
“In 2019, we continued to work closely with our partners to maximize our impact and reach, by supporting the most vulnerable children and youth around the world. We invested in programs aligned with national government priorities and provided a holistic response to the immediate needs of children and youth affected by crises. We also invested in research to see how our efforts can best generate pertinent evidence to improve education outcomes amongst schoolchildren. In addition, we were actively engaged in key global platforms to influence the international education agenda and dialogue to ensure a more effective and efficient delivery of educational programs”, Dr. Al Gurg added.
Dubai Cares set to reshape the global conversation on education
Towards the end of 2019, Dubai Cares announced RewirEd, a ground-breaking global summit on education to be held during Expo 2020 Dubai. RewirEd aims to reshape the global conversation on education by pushing the boundaries of current thinking to explore new approaches to global challenges. RewirEd, which will take place between 17-19 March 2021 at Expo 2020 Dubai will be organized in collaboration between Dubai Cares and Expo 2020 Dubai, and in close coordination with the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Driving stronger and more diversified fundraising campaigns
Individuals and organizations across the UAE continued to generously support Dubai Cares’ efforts. This generosity was reflected through Dubai Cares’ ‘Adopt a School’ initiative, which supported the construction of 20 schools in Cambodia, Malawi, Nepal and Senegal. This initiative brings together UAE-based individual and corporate donors to fund the construction of schools, as well as provide teacher training, book supplies, gender-specific latrines and adult literacy programs.
Fundraising activities were not limited to corporate and individual donors, but also to school children across the UAE, who raised funds through the annual Dubai Cares Distinguished Philanthropic Award in Schools along with other initiatives.
Speaking about the impact of tolerance in the UAE community, Dr. Tariq Al Gurg said: “Last year was a good journey for all of us at Dubai Cares, as we witnessed hundreds of individual and corporate donors as well as students raising money to support less fortunate children and youth around the world, regardless of gender, nationality, race or religion. This generosity is a reflection of the incredible spirit of tolerance and giving that is deeply rooted within the UAE’s community. We thank everyone who contributed to making our programs and initiatives a success.”
Tapping into the UAE’s spirit of volunteering
Throughout 2019, Dubai Cares engaged 2,888 volunteers through its various local and global volunteering initiatives. Members of the UAE community also succeeded through volunteering opportunities in supporting thousands of children and youth from different nationalities in the UAE and abroad, by volunteering more than 18,800 hours.
A total of 16 editions of ‘Volunteer Emirates’ were hosted, including ten editions in support of students of determination in Dubai in partnership with Senses Residential and Day Care for Special Needs, alongside three editions focused on refurbishing non-profit schools in the UAE. A global ‘Back to School’ edition of Volunteer Emirates was also hosted during the holy month of Ramadan and witnessed the participation of 1,438 volunteers who assembled 50,000 school kits. The school kits were then shipped and delivered to 30,000 children in around 700 primary schools in the Kaolack region in Senegal; and to 20,000 children in 27 primary schools on the islands of Unguja and Pemba in Zanzibar, Tanzania. A local ‘Back to School’ edition of Volunteer Emirates was hosted prior to the beginning of the school year to assemble 10,000 school kits which were later distributed among children from low-income families in the UAE. In addition, more than 200 volunteers participated in a five-week literacy summer camp, where they provided accelerated literacy skills in Arabic, English and Math to 200 children aged 6 to 12 from low-income families in the UAE.
Two editions of ‘Volunteer Globally’ took place in Malawi and Senegal and provided 28 UAE-based volunteers with a rare opportunity to join Dubai Cares in helping to construct two schools and interact with local communities.
In 2019, Dubai Cares also celebrated the 10th anniversary of its ‘Walk for Education’ where 15,000 participants and 340 volunteers were engaged, as the initiative continues to grow in popularity.
Finally, Dubai Cares participated at the Emirates Literature Festival for the first time by hosting an activation that highlighted the importance of learning through play during a child’s early years. The UAE-based global philanthropic organization also partnered with Big Bad Wolf, the world’s biggest book sale, to emphasize the importance of reading and learning through play. As part of this book fair, visitors donated 7,000 books out of which 5,000 books were donated to the McMillan Public Library in Nairobi, Kenya; and 2,000 books to hospitals across the UAE.
Dr. Al Gurg concluded: “When volunteers commit their time and skills towards helping others, whether it is through building and renovating a school, or providing tutoring to schoolchildren, they are playing a key role in building stable and resilient communities in their countries. Through our community engagement initiatives, we seek to develop a culturally aware and civic-minded community that contributes towards global efforts to empower children and youth through quality education. As we start the new year, we look forward to engaging the wider UAE community through volunteering in the hope of finding sustainable solutions for pressing issues affecting the world.”