• 11 June 2008

Dubai Cares, a charitable establishment with the aim of educating one million children in developing countries, today announced a joint venture with leading children’s organization Save the Children to drive primary education programmes in Yemen over a five year period, benefitting nearly 46,000 children from 35 under-developed schools.

Dubai Cares will work with 25 rural schools in five districts in the governorates of Lahej and Abyan, and 10 schools in the urban districts of the Aden governorate to improve enrolment among vulnerable groups. The programme will also work towards improving the quality of education, ensuring the schools become truly inclusive to all children – especially girls, who continue to be the largest group excluded from education.

The Yemen programme marks the second partnership between Dubai Cares and Save the Children, following the primary education programmes that were jointly launched in Sudan in April.

Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, Chairperson of Dubai Cares Board of Directors, said:  “In Yemen, lack of education is a key factor abetting poverty - about 87 per cent of the poor are either illiterate or have never completed primary school.

The poverty rate among families with a post-secondary educated head of the household is 22 per cent, while the rate rises dramatically to 47 per cent for households with an illiterate head of the family.

“Additionally, the programme will help Yemen meet its Millennium Development Goals for providing all children access to primary education by 2015. Securing access to primary education is crucial if the nation is to seize opportunities and realise tangible development results.”

“This very generous contribution will help thousands of children who otherwise might never receive an education or reach their full potential,” said Charles MacCormack, President and CEO of Save the Children.  “The support from Dubai Cares will ensure that the boys and girls in these communities will have the opportunity to learn and succeed.”

Based on a rights-based, inclusive education approach – a powerful tool to combat discrimination and ensure all children have access to meaningful education - the programmes will benefit 2,550 teachers and 700 parents with interventions to make schools more child-friendly.

Despite recent gains in enrollment, school statistics in Yemen remain among the lowest in the Arab world, especially for girls in rural areas. The increased pressure on scarce education resources has also adversely impacted the quality of education.

Dubai Cares has prioritized its phase one grants to countries that demonstrate the highest gap in primary education. Last month, Dubai Cares announced 12 beneficiary countries including Bangladesh, Bosnia, Chad, Comoros Islands, Djibouti, Maldives, Mauritania, Niger, Pakistan, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Sudan and Yemen, as well as Palestinian refugees (in Lebanon and Jordan).

Launched in September 2007 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Dubai Cares has evolved into one of the world’s largest charitable establishments solely devoted to improving primary education around the world.

Save the Children (savethechildren.org) is the leading independent organization creating lasting change for children in need in the United States and around the world.  For more than 75 years, Save the Children has been helping children to survive and thrive by improving their health, education and economic opportunities and, in times of crisis, mobilizing rapid, life-saving assistance to help children recover from the effects of war, conflict and natural disasters.

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