Apart from developing and funding a number of primary education programs in developing countries, Dubai Cares is currently conducting follow-up visits to beneficiary countries to monitor and evaluate first-hand the progress of all its programs. Spread across 24 countries worldwide, the UAE-based philanthropic organization’s primary education programs represent its contribution to UN Millennium Development Goal 2 of achieving universal primary education. Tariq Al Gurg, CEO of Dubai Cares, and other team members recently visited Haiti, exemplifying the commitment of the organization to its programs, its partners and most importantly to the children and their communities benefiting from Dubai Cares’ programs.
Weighing on his experience in Haiti, Al Gurg explained, “As per the directions and instructions from H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, we constantly monitor and evaluate the progress of all our programs. This trip has given us the opportunity to directly assess the success of our programs and has allowed us to meet and build strong relationships with the children, their families, teachers and local authorities. We also had the chance to discuss with our local partners the on-ground realities, challenges faced, opportunities available and successes achieved. Overall, the visits were a valuable learning process, on which we hope to further improve our capabilities and program interventions.”
Since the devastating earthquake hit Haiti in January 2010, Dubai Cares and its partners UNICEF and CARE International have been working diligently to ensure that the post disaster needs of the primary education sector are addressed.
Dubai Cares has been working closely with CARE International to support children’s education and the restoration of schools. In addition to providing immediate assistance, the program continues to focus on promoting long-term rehabilitation efforts in the education sector of the quake devastated country. With half of Haiti’s 15,000 primary schools destroyed or badly damaged, the Dubai Cares program is aimed at restoring a sense of normalcy and providing support to 82,000 primary-aged school children in directly and in-directly affected areas. This support will be in the form of schooling and recreational activities such as organizing activity clubs for children and youth with no access to schools, providing a minimum of 500 caregivers with awareness sessions on disaster-affected child support, providing a minimum of 40,000 children with school kits, strengthening educational opportunities through the rehabilitation of water and sanitation facilities at schools, mobilizing community involvement to refurnish a minimum of 100 education facilities with furniture while providing income-generating opportunities, and providing 100 schools with supplies facilitating their reopening.
In partnership with UNICEF, Dubai Cares has also implemented a program for the creation of child-friendly WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) facilities in the quake-affected areas of Haiti. Dubai Cares’ WASH initiatives reflect the organization’s belief that the sustainable integration of water and sanitation facilities and hygiene activities in schools will not only improve the well-being of children, but also their access to primary education. The program is designed to reach out to 220 schools, or a population of about 132,000 children and 6,600 teachers. Furthermore, an additional 20,000 future school children will benefit from the installation of child friendly WASH facilities.
In addition to the distribution of WASH supplies to schools, the program also includes the distribution of hygiene promotion kits, hygiene promotion tools, and guides and games to teachers, trainers and children with the aim of providing an improved learning environment. Apart from reducing the exposure to contaminated water, the program also aims at reducing the impact of the quake-induced trauma on the children thereby improving learning achievements.