• 15 February 2017

Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashed Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, hosted today a special ceremony to celebrate the UAE-based global philanthropic organization’s 10th anniversary and extend its gratitude to the UAE community for its generous support over the past decade. The ceremony, which was attended by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai; 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, was held at the Armani Hotel Dubai.

Dubai Cares also took advantage of this gathering of dignitaries, donors, partners and supporters to outline its achievements over the past decade, honor key donors and supporters who have been continuously supporting Dubai Cares over the years, as well as outline the future plans of the philanthropic organization to address needs and challenges in developing countries across the entire education spectrum. While its emphasis during its first 10 years has been on supporting primary school-age children, as a key component of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the organization will now extend its reach to address the systemic factors and causes behind the large number of out-of-school children and youth globally. As part of its future plans, Dubai Cares will increase its focus on funding interventions in areas where governments are unable to provide services, such as Education in Emergencies programs, aimed at supporting the most vulnerable children and young people. Dubai Cares will also increase funding for research-oriented programs, and establish pilot initiatives that provide meaningful and valuable evidence for governments, policymakers, and civil society, to support them in defining an educational framework for the future.

Dubai Cares will also place emphasis on capacity development and mobilization of resources at national level by providing support to local education groups, national education coalitions in civil society, and consortia of foundations in countries where Dubai Cares has strategic involvement. These plans are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4 which is designed to be achieved by 2030 and intended to build on the actions from the MDGs and place more emphasis on learning outcomes, early childhood development, access to secondary and tertiary education, vocational training, adult literacy and global citizenship. 

Addressing Dubai Cares' donors and supporters during the ceremony, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai said, "You have been with us since the beginning in our journey aimed at supporting children in developing countries in their quest for quality education. The children whom we have provided primary education are now in need of completing their education and we are committed to addressing their education needs, with a particular focus on quality of education to transform communities in developing countries." 

The ceremony began with a video of the UAE national anthem featuring a performance by young members of the Dubai Cares- funded ‘Sinfonía por el Perú’ - an organization using music classes as a tool for community and socio-emotional development. It was followed by a video message from some key partners of Dubai Cares from around the world, with a message of gratitude on this special occasion.

Speaking about Dubai Cares’ 10-year journey, His Excellency Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares, said: “10 years ago, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum planted the seed, and together we have nurtured it and helped it grow. Our goal has been to provide one million children with access to quality education, and we have come a long way in terms of achieving the vision of our founder. Today, because of his guidance and the continued commitment of our donors, partners and supporters, we are now reaching more than 16 million children in 45 developing countries. Together, we have been working towards transforming education systems in developing countries, to make education a tool for children to define their future. Our collective goal has been to shape the future of today’s children by providing them with access to the means that enable them to influence positive change in the societies they live in. We are drilling down to the essence of the issue, taking the lead in dealing with lesser-known obstacles to education such as lack of gender-specific latrines and handwashing facilities and adequate student nutrition or health. As a result, we have managed to increase the level of enrollment in schools, reduce dropout rates, improve the quality of education, ensure gender equality across all programs, provide training for teachers and contribute to the global body of evidence-based best practices.”

At the conclusion of the ceremony, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum honored individual and corporate donors and supporters from the public, private, and semi-government sectors, and unveiled a monument which featured and recognized the names of every single Dubai Cares donor who has supported the organization throughout the past 10 years.

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