With the UAE entering the ‘Year of Giving’, as declared by the UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Dubai Cares has announced that it will be providing volunteering opportunities to 4,250 UAE residents in 2017. Dubai Cares will be organizing volunteering opportunities locally and globally as part of its well-established initiatives such as Volunteer Emirates, Walk for Education and Volunteer Globally, as well as new initiatives to be announced throughout the year.
The UAE’s President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan had declared 2017 as the Year of Giving. The initiative focuses on three main pillars: creating a sense of community responsibility in the private sector, enhancing the spirit of volunteering and encouraging specialized volunteer programs, and instilling loyalty and commitment in the next generations to serve their country.
Following ‘the Year of Giving’ retreat that brought together experts, stakeholders and officials to pool ideas and approaches to the UAE’s efforts to boost giving and philanthropy at national, regional and international levels, Dubai Cares revealed that among the first initiatives on its agenda for 2017 is the first edition of "Volunteer Emirates" which is planned for Saturday, February 4, 2017 at Al Manama Private Charity School in Ajman, followed by the annual Walk for Education, which will take place on Friday, February 17, 2017 at Dubai Creek Park. Dubai Cares’ Walk for Education is a symbolic three kilometer walk that aims to highlight one of the challenges children face in acquiring quality education in developing countries where they have to walk an average of three kilometers every day in order to go to school.
Dubai Cares also plans on organizing three other editions of “Volunteer Emirates” in March, November and December 2017. Each edition of the initiative witnesses 100-125 volunteers, led by Dubai Cares, working together to enhance the learning environment in a UAE-based non-profit school. This initiative has been receiving widespread support from the local community with volunteers participating in maintenance work as well as adding a dash of color to reinvigorate the general ambience of the schools. Volunteers install desks and chairs for students and teachers; mount book shelves and equip libraries; install whiteboards, projectors and air conditioners; install playground toys as well as sports and musical equipment; draw murals across the school corridors; install shade umbrellas to protect students from the hot weather; among others.
“Volunteer Globally” is another initiative on the organization’s calendar for November 2017. First launched in 2009, Volunteer Globally is a week-long mission involving 15 UAE-based volunteers traveling to disadvantages communities around the world to assist in the construction of a school for the local community. The school worksite activities include digging trenches, laying bricks, tying and reinforcing steel bars as well as mixing concrete, picking, sifting and pumping water. These activities are combined with cultural education workshops to better interact with the local community.
Speaking on Dubai Cares’ contribution to ‘the Year of Giving’, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares said: “Giving is at the heart of the UAE’s culture and traditions. The culture of giving was engraved by our founding father, late Sheikh Zayed, who laid the foundation of giving in the country, which has resulted in the UAE becoming one of the most generous countries in the world. Declaring 2017 as the 'Year of Giving' will further instill the culture of giving back and enhance the spirit of volunteering and loyalty within the community. In light of this noble initiative, Dubai Cares will certainly contribute to the success of the 'Year of Giving' by organizing a number of local and international volunteering and community engagement initiatives that will help improve the lives of children and adolescents by providing them the gift of education. We strongly encourage the UAE community to participate and support our initiatives which offer a unique opportunity to truly engage in a great cause.”
In line with His Highness Sheikh Khalifa’s vision, Dubai Cares is also making available a number of partnership opportunities that offer organizations from both the private and public sector the chance to contribute to the ‘Year of Giving’, customized to fit their CSR agenda both locally and internationally. These initiatives not only allow organizations to financially contribute, but also provide their stakeholders with an opportunity to support by putting in time and effort through volunteering. As an example, Dubai Cares’ Adopt a School initiative will allow organizations to choose one of the selected countries to build and equip a school as well as send their employees to volunteer their time to kick-start the building efforts alongside the local community. Dubai Cares will be announcing a line-up of partnership and sponsorship opportunities throughout 2017.
Dubai Cares’ database of volunteers, supporters, and donors currently includes 33,000 individuals, with 2016 witnessing the participation of 1,215 volunteers and 10,500 supporters. Dubai Cares’ volunteers come from diverse backgrounds but share a passion for volunteering and community service.
Full details of upcoming volunteering initiatives will be announced on Dubai Cares’ websitewww.dubaicares.ae as well as by email to Dubai Cares’ supporters and via the organization’s social media platforms. Individuals interested in registering with Dubai Cares as volunteers can do so by visitinghttp://www.dubaicares.ae/en/section/get-involved.