More than 100 volunteers yesterday joined Dubai Cares’ “Volunteer Emirates” to help enrich the learning environment for students at the His Highness Shaikh Rashid Al Maktoum Pakistani School in Dubai. Through this initiative, Dubai Cares installed 630 chairs and desks, 21 whiteboards, 15 bookshelves and 10 air-conditioners; painted over 50 classrooms; and provided educational toys for 135 students.
Dubai Cares has a series of local initiatives that offer UAE residents opportunities to give back to communities here at home and support its mission of improving access to quality primary education for children in developing countries. “Volunteer Emirates” is one of those initiatives which mobilizes volunteers to give their time to help renovate schools and classrooms.
Commenting on the event, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares, said: “The spirit of philanthropy and volunteerism is very strong among UAE residents and the response we continue to receive proves it. UAE residents are always looking for opportunities to help communities here at home and we are always happy to work with them to make a difference for students in the UAE.”
Al Gurg further added: “Volunteers have played an important role with Dubai Cares since its establishment in 2007. We consider our volunteers – in fact, all our supporters – key partners in our mission. Without the support of our partners – both at home and abroad – none of Dubai Cares’ achievements would have been possible. This year, Dubai Cares is celebrating its fifth anniversary and on this occasion I want to thank all of our volunteers for all their hard work, effort and dedication to making positive change.”
Jummah Aro-Lambo, who traveled from Nigeria to participate in the Dubai Cares initiative, said: “I have been doing a lot of volunteering work since 2003 in my home country Nigeria. This is my first time outside Nigeria. Today’s initiative with Dubai Cares was a whole different experience; it was a lot of fun. I was in a group of 8 people who were responsible for painting several classrooms in the school. It is a great feeling to know that when the school children come to school the next day, they will be happy and thrilled with the changes and new improved learning environment.”
He added: “It was indeed a privileged to work with the Dubai Cares team and volunteers. It will surely encourage people who don’t normally do volunteering work, to think of doing it now - it is a life changing experience.”
Alex Hartzuiker, 14, a Greek national, who has been volunteering since he was five and half years old, said: “I am extremely excited and happy to support and work with Dubai Cares in refurbishing this school. I really liked the group of volunteers who were from different backgrounds and liked that we were able to leave a positive impact on the school.”
“I do a lot of volunteering work with my family since I was 5 years old, but participating in Dubai Cares’ Volunteer Emirates program, which was my first volunteering experience with a UAE organization, was a totally different experience. I can’t wait for Dubai Cares’ next volunteering initiative and look forward to inviting my classmates to participate and enjoy volunteering,” added Alex.
In 2011, “Volunteer Emirates” took over 120 volunteers to Manar Al Iman Private School, a non-profit school in Ajman, where they helped with landscaping, door and window installation, classroom painting, playground renovation and creating murals on playground walls.