With 2017 marking ‘the Year of Giving’ – as declared by the UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan – Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, is calling upon the UAE community, including its longstanding donors and supporters to reaffirm their commitment to Dubai Cares, as it embarks on a new chapter for the next 10 years, as recently announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai during the organization’s 10th Anniversary event. During a press gathering hosted at Dubai Cares’ offices in Dubai, the organization encouraged members of the UAE community to contribute to Dubai Cares’ work and make a lasting difference in the lives of millions of children and young people around the world.
As part of its future plans, Dubai Cares will increase its focus on funding interventions in areas where governments have limited resources or are unable to provide services in situations of conflict, natural disasters and epidemics to support the most vulnerable children and young people. Dubai Cares will increase funding for research-oriented programs and establish pilot initiatives that provide meaningful and valuable evidence for governments, policymakers, and civil society, to support them in defining an educational framework for the future. Dubai Cares will also support capacity development and mobilization of resources at national level by providing assistance to local education groups, national education coalitions in civil society, and consortia of foundations in countries where Dubai Cares has strategic involvement. These plans are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4 which is designed to be achieved by 2030 and intended to build on the actions from the MDGs and place more emphasis on early childhood development, access to secondary and tertiary education, technical and vocational education and training, adult literacy, global citizenship as well as improving learning outcomes.
Despite the breakthroughs made by Dubai Cares and the international community, 263 million children and young people around the world are out of school. The scale of the issue is immense and more support is needed to generate long-lasting impact on children and young people's lives. In order to achieve this goal, Dubai Cares will play a key role in supporting the UAE government’s strategy to achieve SDG4 to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
During the press briefing, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares said: “We are currently witnessing the ‘Year of Giving 2017’ further instilling within our community the values of giving and the importance of lending a helping hand to disadvantaged people in the UAE and abroad. The ethos of giving are quite evident in the work and the impact illustrated by Dubai Cares as we are now reaching more than 16 million children and young people in 45 developing countries. This has only been made possible through the incredible support of the UAE community. As we look forward to accomplish even more in the next 10 years, we encourage members of our community to embark on a journey of giving, empowerment and hope by renewing their commitment to supporting our noble philanthropic cause that will transform the lives of millions of children and young people, strengthen communities, and help build a promising and thriving future.”
Among the donors who have pledged support to Dubai Cares in its new chapter are LuLu Group International with an AED 10 million commitment, Al Ansari Exchange with an AED 10 million pledge and Mahesh Menda, Chairman and Managing Director of World of Electricals with an AED 1 million commitment.
Yusuff Ali MA, Chairman of LULU Group International said: “As part of our CSR policy, we have always been very closely associated with various humanitarian initiatives by the UAE government. The tremendous work done by Dubai Cares till date is commendable and we see very real and tangible change in the lives of many underprivileged people around the world. We have always considered our association with Dubai Cares as an honor and are delighted to partner with them in spreading smiles around the world in the years to come.”
Rashed Ali Al Ansari, General Manager, Al Ansari Exchange, said: “We appreciate the tireless efforts made by Dubai Cares in spreading the culture of education and knowledge as effective ways to enlighten and change the lives of human beings, inspired by the UAE's wise leadership and the vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. We are confident that these efforts will leave a positive impact in significantly improving the lives of people in need. As Dubai Cares moves forward in writing a new chapter for the next ten years, we pledge our commitment to support its noble initiatives and goals to bring about a major transformation in the lives of the poor, the needy and the less fortunate.
Mahesh Menda, Chairman of World of Electricals said: “There is an old Chinese proverb that says, ‘Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.’ I personally believe that is important to teach children and young adults the necessary skills to ensure their ability to achieve long-term success and independence. Education is the key to success as it opens new horizons for children and young adults. The vast amount of knowledge gained from education prepares individuals to solve problems, teach others, function at a higher level and implement new ideas. Together, we need to intensify efforts to help the most disadvantaged children in developing countries have access to quality education. Education is a right for everyone.”
“This immensely generous pledge by LuLu Group International, Al Ansari Exchange and Mahesh Menda is a reflection of their confidence in our work, their sense of corporate social responsibility, and their recognition of the tangible, visible impact that education can bring. We are very grateful for their continuous support, and hope that the UAE’s ‘Year of Giving’ will galvanize organizations and individuals throughout the country to play their part in what we aspire to achieve in the name of education empowerment”, Al Gurg concluded.