Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has reiterated and strengthened its commitment towards Early Childhood Development (ECD) by announcing a new partnership with Save the Children in support of integrated ECD services in crisis and conflict settings, as well as participating at the MIT Solve ECD Challenge Finals 2019, on the side-lines of the 74th UN General Assembly in New-York City.
Dubai Cares forges a new partnership with Save the Children in support of ECD in crisis and conflict settings
Dubai Cares announced an AED 7,347,000 (USD 2 million) commitment towards Early Childhood Development in conflict and crisis contexts at the Strategic Dialogue Roundtable hosted as part of the Concordia Annual Summit, the largest and most inclusive nonpartisan forum alongside the United Nations General Assembly, bringing together decision-makers and opinion-formers in the public, private and non-profit sectors, as well as the next generation of partnership-builders.
Dr. Al Gurg attended this Summit along with Carolyn Miles, Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children; Ben Davies, Executive Director of the Johnson & Johnson Global Community Impact Group in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region; Jacquelline Fuller from Google.org; Bonnie Glick, Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development; Scott Jackson President and Chief Executive Officer of Global Impact; and Raj Kumar, founding President & Editor-in-Chief of Devex amongst others.
Dubai Cares’ new partnership with Save the Children aims to develop a global approach to operationalize the Nurturing Care Framework (NCF) by providing early stimulation and responsive care to the youngest children in crisis settings. Launched in 2018 by the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and other partners, the NCF seeks to provide a global, evidence-based roadmap for action, offering guidance on how to improve early childhood development through integrated policies and effective interventions. It also aims to inspire multiple sectors – including education, health, nutrition and child protection – to find new ways of addressing the needs of the youngest children. Finally, the Framework articulates the importance of responsive caregiving and early learning as integral components of good quality care for young children.
Speaking about the successful Strategic Dialogue Roundtable, and sharing Dubai Cares’ good practices globally, Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares, said: “Our participation in this strategic discussion reflects our steadfast commitment towards shaping the global education agenda, specifically in the ECD stage. We firmly believe that early childhood experiences lay the foundation for success in school and also have a profound impact on health, behaviour and ultimately, adult social relationships and earning power. Through this new partnership with Save the Children, Dubai Cares seeks to develop programmatic priorities and implementation approaches that contribute to young children’s education and development in the most resource constrained settings where children are regularly affected by violence and conflict. Dubai Cares will continue to strive to realize child’s rights as enshrined in international conventions and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, so all children have the right to learn, fully develop, be listened to and actively participate in decision-making relevant to their lives.”
Al Gurg recognized at Save the Children’s 2019 Centennial Gala
Al Gurg was also recognized as a “Change-maker” during Save the Children’s celebration of its Centennial anniversary: “Changing the World for Children” held in Los Angeles, for his continued effort in shaping the future of philanthropy in the education sector and speaking up on behalf of the most vulnerable children and young people by providing quality education globally.
The “Dubai Cares ECD Prize” for the MIT Solve ECD Challenge
Dubai Cares also celebrated and rewarded the spirit of innovation at the MIT Solve Challenge Finals 2019, on the side-lines of the 74th UN General Assembly in New-York City. During the event, Dr. Al Gurg served as one of the judges for the MIT Solve ECD Challenge whereby he participated in the selection of the 8 most innovative and inspiring solutions. The winners were awarded the Dubai Cares ECD Prize – an AED 918,375 (USD 250,000) funding that will help them further develop their individual solutions. Additionally, Dubai Cares will invest in capacity building of the 8 finalists, who will benefit from invaluable training provided by the Harvard Center on the Developing Child.
Speaking from the MIT Solve Challenge Finals 2019 in New York City, Dr. Al Gurg said: “It has been an honor to yet again be selected as a judge in this challenge, to review, discuss and debate dozens of innovative and inspiring solutions to the Early Childhood Development Challenge. Congratulations to the 8 solver winners who showcased innovative solutions to the most pressing issues related to ECD. Through MIT Solve, Dubai Cares is seeking to be a global supporter of innovation in order to find faster and better ways to connect caregivers, teachers and children living in low-resource environments with the best early childhood care and learning opportunities. Dubai Cares is committed to addressing the learning crisis by ensuring the youngest children are provided the care and stimulation they need to thrive, by ensuring access to quality ECD.”
Inadequate early childhood development exacerbates inequality and denies children their ability to thrive. If every child in their earliest years receives the quality, affordable support and care to develop the learning and cognitive skills they need to reach their full potential, we can help level the playing field and set them—and our societies—up for a more equitable and prosperous future. It is estimated that 175 million children are not enrolled in pre-primary education. Dubai Cares is committed to ensuring access to quality ECD for underprivileged children in developing countries. By encouraging innovation, Dubai Cares hopes to find faster and better ways to connect all education stakeholders and improve learning opportunities for the youngest children.
Dubai Cares Participates in High-Level Meetings and Events
The Dubai Cares delegation also attended events and meetings which included the Generation Unlimited 3rd Board Meeting; Education Cannot Wait High-level Steering Group; Co-impact meeting in the presence of Bill Gates; CEO Roundtable hosted by the International Rescue Committee (IRC)/Business Refugee Action Network (BRAN); Joint Education Cannot Wait/Education Commission Event on Education Financing; the UNESCO high-level side event (Future of Education); The Luminous Fund’s “Dynamic Philanthropy” discussion panel; and the UNESCO Qualifications Passport for Refugees and Vulnerable Migrants meeting. During the 74th UN General Assembly week, Dr. Al Gurg was also announced as a member of the Advisory Commission of the UNESCO-led Futures of Education initiative.