Fifteen Dubai Cares volunteers, who took part in the philanthropic organization’s 2017 editions of Volunteer Globally, have safely landed in Dubai following their visit to the village of Phuleli in the district of Kanchanpur where they set the foundation for a new community school. The weeklong mission between October 21st and 27th exposed the participants to a plethora of emotions including anticipation, excitement, sympathy, sadness, purposefulness and happiness. As the volunteers return to their homes, they are primarily left with one emotion, which is fulfillment, having contributed to the education of 150 schoolchildren and 60 illiterate women within that small community.
The 15-volunteer team participated in school worksite activities including digging trenches, laying bricks, tying and reinforcing steel bars as well as mixing concrete, picking, sifting and pumping water. These activities were also combined with cultural education workshops for better interaction and understanding of the local community.
Commenting on this year’s edition of Volunteer Globally in Nepal, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares said: “Volunteerism is part of Dubai Cares’ DNA, and we see it as one of the clearest expressions of solidarity with communities around the world and an effective tool for sustainable development. Through our Volunteer Globally initiative, Dubai Cares’ aim is to engage volunteers based in the UAE in a unique experience and give them the opportunity to see the reality on the ground and help us in addressing pressing challenges related to education in developing countries. We are proud of the commitment and dedication of our volunteers who traveled with us from the UAE to dedicate their time, passion and expertise to provide the gift of education to underprivileged children in Nepal. The impact of the work carried out by the volunteers in the span of just one week will certainly last for decades.”
Iman Al Marri from the UAE said: “Taking some time out from my day to volunteer has been an essential ritual since I was 16 year-old. Being part of Dubai Cares’ Volunteer Globally initiative allows me to help others not only in my own community, but also around the world and experience something outside my daily lifestyle. I hope this experience makes a difference to the life of children and young people in this village in Nepal.”
The same feeling was shared by Joe Doyle from the U.S. who said: “As the world gets more and more complex, we consistently get tied up with our own problems, forgetting the problems for others. Volunteering is the cure; it's the way for us all to stay humble and most importantly committed to helping everyone have a better life. Dubai Cares’ initiative to build a school in Nepal will certainly open new horizons to help children reach their dreams and have a bright and successful future.”
Volunteers from Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, were joined on the field by team members from Dubai Cares and its implementing partner, BuildOn, as well as a construction team from the local community.
Rana Awad, Community Engagement Manager at Dubai Cares said, “Dubai Cares’ initiative brought together 15 volunteers from different backgrounds and cultures who worked hand in hand and relentlessly to build a school in Phuleli village. We were very moved by their enthusiasm, commitment and dedication. We are proud of every one of our volunteers, and through their support the children in Phuleli will soon have a safe learning environment where they can thrive and build a better future for themselves and their community.”
This year’s “Volunteer Globally” initiative coincided with the 30-day fitness challenge launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council, and all volunteers and Dubai Cares staff were committed to 30 minutes of daily exercise during the whole stay in Nepal.
Dubai Cares’ ‘Volunteer Globally’ initiative was launched in 2009, in line with Dubai Cares efforts to engage UAE residents by offering them the opportunity to give back. Dubai Cares is constantly looking for volunteers, who are UAE residents, enthusiastic about social work and physically capable of performing construction work and adapting to the working conditions and life routine in developing countries.
Dubai Cares has shortlisted 50 applicants based on their responses provided in the application, with priority given to volunteers who registered first. The 50 shortlisted applicants have been also invited to participate in one-on-one interviews last summer. Following the interview process, Dubai Cares has selected the 15 volunteers who joined us during our week-long mission in Nepal.
Kanchanpur is home to the population of indigenous Tharu. Across the region, 44 percent of the population is living below the poverty line, and illiteracy rates in rural Nepal are close to 70%. Obstacles to education include costs, distance, low quality; parents prefer their children working than educating them, leading to many children dropping out of school or failing to enroll.