Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, today unveiled the scale and impact of its efforts and achievements during 2018, which marked the “Year of Zayed”. As of today, the UAE-based global philanthropic organization has launched 183 programs worth AED 787.39 million (USD 214 million), thus impacting the lives of 18.76 million beneficiaries in 57 developing countries. In 2018, the organization launched 24 new programs in 16 countries, including 4 new countries which are Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
Committed to continuing the journey towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4
In 2018, Dubai Cares continued to play a leading role in helping achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, which aims to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning by 2030, through the design and funding of programs that target the underlying causes preventing children and young people from accessing quality education. As part of its commitment towards achieving SDG4 and its mandate to tackle the chronic deficiencies in education, by the end of 2018 Dubai Cares had built and renovated 2,029 classrooms and schools, trained 118,873 teachers, provided 782 water wells and potable water sources and constructed 6,055 latrines in schools, provided nutritious food to 484,490 children, established 7,206 parent-teacher associations and provided deworming treatment in stand-alone and national programs for 34 million children.
Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares, said: “His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed Al Maktoum’s 50 years of inspiring leadership and service were marked by several philanthropic, charitable and developmental initiatives in the UAE and abroad. Dubai Cares is one of these initiatives that best embody his vision of breaking the cycle of poverty through education. As a global philanthropic organization, we continue to embrace His Highness’ vision by dedicating the best of the UAE to all humanity irrespective of race, religion, gender and nationality. We believe that our real value lies in making a positive impact in the lives of underprivileged children and young people around the world. Our 2018 achievements alone are a testimony of our continued efforts to deliver on Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashed’s direction to go well beyond primary education, with our scope now covering secondary education as well as youth empowerment."
“Over the past year, we have launched new programs focusing on strengthening school leadership, preparing girls for the 21st century skills and ensuring youth have relevant skills matching the job market by developing Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) curricula,” Al Gurg added.
Spirit of volunteerism is further embedded within the UAE’s ethos
Dubai Cares engaged 2,903 volunteers in its local and global community engagement initiatives in 2018. The organization hosted 16 editions of “Volunteer Emirates” across the UAE, twice as many as in 2017. As part of “Volunteer Emirates”, 2 back to school editions provided 50,000 school kits to children affected by the Syrian crisis in Jordan, while 10,000 school kits were provided to low-income families in the UAE. Moreover, 10 editions were hosted in support of students of determination in Dubai, 3 editions supported not-for-profit schools, and 1 edition of a week-long summer camp initiative. The annual “Walk for Education” involved 300 volunteers and engaged more than 15,000 participants, confirming the growing success of the event year after year. Internationally, two editions of “Volunteer Globally” in Nepal and Senegal involved 27 volunteers, shortlisted among more than 800 applicants.
Moreover, Dubai Cares, in partnership with Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), successfully hosted its first edition of the Dubai Cares Scavenger Hunt where participants had to solve 15 challenges. The hunt was a success across the UAE community, with over 7,400 individuals downloaded the app, 6,100 joined the hunt and more than 325 completing at least 10 challenges, bringing the total number of challenges solved to 5,900.
Speaking about the remarkable contribution of the UAE community in supporting Dubai Cares’ volunteering initiatives, Al Gurg said: “The ‘Year of Giving’ in 2017 was a catalyst for us to offer more community engagement initiatives. As a result, we increased the number of volunteering opportunities to allow as many volunteers as possible the opportunity to volunteer locally and abroad. Moreover, in 2018, which marked the ‘Year of Zayed’, we doubled and diversified the number of initiatives to meet the social needs of communities in the UAE and abroad. Through these initiatives, we look forward to instilling a culture of volunteering in promoting sustainable development and building a better future for new generations.”
Dubai Cares’ programs inspire the UAE community to give back
Dubai Cares implemented successful fundraising initiatives and partnerships with UAE-based individuals and corporations. The organization secured pledges totaling to AED 2,724,000 (USD 741,527) as part of “Adopt a School” initiative for the construction of 18 community-based schools in Cambodia, Malawi, Nepal, Palestine and Senegal. In addition, the organization raised over AED 3 million through the Dubai Cares Distinguished Philanthropic Award in Schools and other school-led initiatives. Dubai Cares in partnership with UNRWA also raised AED 2.28 million as part of the UNRWA’s Zakat program to mitigate the severity of food insecurity amongst poor Palestinian refugee households in Gaza through the regular distribution of food assistance.
Al Gurg added: “The UAE community continues to demonstrate deep commitment in supporting our education programs and initiatives. The connection shown by the UAE community towards our noble cause played a pivotal role in raising vital funds that resulted in developing creative solutions to global education problems. Donor contributions from UAE-based individuals as well as the private and public sector helped us remove the barriers that prevent children and young people in developing countries from having access to quality education.”
Helping children develop the skills and habit of reading globally
Dubai Cares also took leaps in delivering on the promise of the “Reading Nation” campaign, an initiative founded by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to distribute 5 million books to children in schools, refugee camps and developing countries. In 2018, more than 300,000 books were distributed around the world bringing the total number to 5.3 million books written in local language, exceeding the goal and ensuring that children in underprivileged communities have access to this vital outlet of learning and discovery. Last year, Egypt and Somalia were among the new countries that benefited from Reading Nation book distribution.
“Children’s ability to learn is a fragile thing. Poverty, illness and conflict all play a role in keeping children out of school and unable to achieve their full potential. Yet, against these odds, Dubai Cares, in line with the UAE Foreign Aid Policy, has helped millions of children have equal and safe access to schools in 2018, and we did so with the support of a growing network of implementing partners, generous donors and passionate volunteers in the UAE and around the world. In 2019, we remain committed to continue our journey with our partners and make a lasting and positive impact in the lives of children and young people, by further increasing the scope, impact and reach of our programs around the world,” Al Gurg concluded.