• 22 April 2009

Dubai Cares has announced funding for twelve charities which were chosen by Dubai-based high school students who participated in the eCares campaign, launched as part of Dubai Cares’ Volunteer Campaign.  The charities receiving funding are based locally and throughout the world and include Al Noor, Africa Educational Trust, Charity Water, Pearls of Africa, Ruchika, EduKaid, Right to Play, A Glimmer of Hope, Oprah’s Angel Network, Camfed, Dubai Center for Special Needs and ANERA.  The total amount awarded to all the charities is approximately AED500,000.

eCares is a web-based community fundraising initiative which gave high school students in Dubai an opportunity to play the role of a fundraiser as well as a donor to charities that support children’s access to primary education globally.

The students were asked to research key problems and issues that prevent children in developing nations from accessing quality, primary education.  Students’ research was used as the basis to select a charity that best addresses these problems and then build a web-campaign to promote the charity for funding from Dubai Cares.

Dubai Cares then vetted the suggested organizations to ensure compliance with the highest standards of transparency and legal criteria. The organizations were also measured against Dubai Cares criteria to ensure the suggested programs respond to the needs of the communities and countries in which they operate.

After the vetting process, the selected campaigns began making their case for their respective charities.  Students, who were then each given 1,000 “Virtual Dirhams”, responded by donating to the campaigns they felt best represented the type of organizations Dubai Cares should support.  Finally, Dubai Cares reviewed the eCares website to see which campaigns received the most Virtual Dirhams and is now funding these organizations with actual Dirhams.

Dubai Cares is pleased that over 1,350 students participated in and 350 campaigns were submitted to the eCares Initiative, which provided students a virtual platform to use their social networking skills for a charitable cause and served as a vehicle for them to overcome the constraints of space to extend their impact globally.

The winners of the eCares campaign are:
• Pallavi Mathur, Sarah Siddiqua, Sabeena Basheer (The Indian High School), who campaigned for Al Noor;
• Lauren Devine, Elena Adi (Sheffield Private School), Africa Educational Trust;
• Diala Al-Qadi (Al Mawakeb School), Charity Water;
• Aqdas Muzaffar, Uzair Elahi, Rana Hussien, Muhammad Motiwala, and Abdullah Fahad (Sheffield Private School), Pearls of Africa;
• Arati Narendran (Dubai Modern High School), Ruchika;
• Anusha Kodirova (Pristine Private School), EduKaid;
• Ashwin Menon (The Indian High School), Right to Play;
• Feba Rachel Babu (The Indian High School), A Glimmer of Hope;
• Shilpa Rajan, Shraddha Iyer, Veena Manimaran, Vidhyashri Venkatesh, Shweta Sharma (The Indian High School), Oprah’s Angel Network;
• Keertana Muralidharan (Dubai Modern High School), Camfed;
• Omar Abdullah Saeed (Al Khaleej National School), Dubai Center for Special Needs;
• and, Harish Khanchandani (Dubai Modern High School), ANERA

The charities will implement programs in the areas of Access to Education; Water and Sanitation; Innovation; Gender Equality and Construction and Renovation.  Africa Educational Trust, for instance, is working with local communities to develop primary and secondary education in areas affected by conflict in Africa; Al Noor is working to educate children with special needs from infancy until they are able to integrate into society; and, ANERA is helping provide access to education for refugees through school construction, after-school programs, IT instruction, and programs for students with special needs.

Omar Abdullah Saeed, Al Khaleej National School, who campaigned for Dubai Center for Special Needs, said:  “All people deserve to experience life from all of its aspects, and participating in this campaign was my best chance to thank life for what it gave me and let other people experience it too.”

Anusha Kodirova, a Pristine Private School student, who helped raise money for EduKaid, said:  “Ever since I was young, I have always promised myself that someday I would help at least three poor children from Africa. I thank eCares for giving me this chance of keeping my promise and turning it into an action.”

To learn more about eCares Challenge or to see the students’ campaigns, please visit the eCares website: www.ecares.ae or www.dubaicares.ae.

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