• 13 May 2015

Dubai Cares today announced the launch of the Dubai Cares Distinguished Philanthropic Award in Schools, a new initiative calling on private and public schools across the UAE to put their creative and entrepreneurial talents towards a fundraising drive. Following the success of Dubai Cares' 2014 Creative Challenge that encouraged students to reimagine #MyDubai, the organization is launching this new initiative with the support of the Ministry of Education (MoE), the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) and with the sponsorship of iConnect, an Apple Authorized Reseller.

Highlighting the importance of this award, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares said: "The response to the Creative Challenge last year was very heartening and inspiring; it was a true reflection of the level of talent and creative energy that we, as a country, have instilled in our students here in the UAE. It also represented the willingness of students to be part of something bigger and global. The aim of this new initiative is to focus on the other side of the coin – we want students to channel their entrepreneurial spirit and leadership qualities into developing and executing effective fundraising programs. Therefore, we have instituted two award categories that focus on the process and the results of fundraising, and we look forward to receiving the necessary support from schools across the UAE."

HE Amal Al Koos, Assistant Undersecretary for Sector Activities and School Environment, Ministry of Education said: "The Dubai Cares Distinguished Philanthropic Award in Schools has a noble purpose and reflects the principles advocated by His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the late President and founding father of the UAE. The ministry is invested in the success of this award and will provide the necessary assistance, facilities and capacities to meet the goals of the initiative. The UAE is a global leader in humanitarian work and this award will strengthen the UAE's legacy in this sphere. Moreover, the Ministry of Education has consistently promoted the importance of humanitarian work amongst the student population by spreading the culture of giving in schools."

John McEvoy, General Manager, iConnect said: "I would like to commend Dubai Cares on the launch of the Distinguished Philanthropic Award in Schools. iConnect is pleased to support an initiative that encourages schools and students in the UAE to set free their creativity and innovation in support of providing their counterparts in developing countries an opportunity to receive the education they need, as well as an opportunity to pull themselves out of poverty."

The Dubai Cares Distinguished Philanthropic Award in Schools will include two categories - The Young Philanthropists Award and The Philanthropic School Award. During the course of the initiative, individual schools will be encouraged to run internal competitions for students to develop and implement creative and sustainable fundraising projects, aimed at raising funds to provide children globally with access to quality primary education.

Upon registration, each school has the choice to select one or both award categories it wishes to compete for. The Young Philanthropists Award recognizes the group of students with the most creative fundraising projects, while the Philanthropic School Award rewards the school that raises the highest amount of funds.

The school initiative will kick off in mid-September 2015 and is expected to run until early December 2015. Schools have until mid-December to make the final submission, and the winners will be announced at a recognition ceremony in January, 2016. During the ceremony, iConnect will be awarding the 5 winners in the Young Philanthropists Award category with the latest Macbook Airs and the winning school in the Philanthropic School Award will be awarded 30 iPads.

"The initiative is not only a platform for students to put their talents to good use, but also showcases schools that integrate philanthropy and community development as part of their values and objectives. Moreover, we hope that this award will instill philanthropic values in our children at a young age as well as in the UAE's overall education system. There is no time like the present to show our students that their hard work and efforts will most definitely make a difference and improve lives. To this end, we sincerely thank iConnect for supporting the Dubai Cares Distinguished Philanthropic Award in Schools initiative by presenting a financial donation towards the award, as well as providing the winning schools and students with the latest Apple products," concluded Al Gurg.

Schools interested in participating and for more information on Dubai Cares and its programs, please visit www.dubaicares.ae

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