Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, and a team of 100 volunteers participated in the 7th edition of Volunteer Emirates 2017, which took place at Senses Residential and Day Care Centre in Umm Suqeim, Dubai. Sponsored by Coca-Cola, in partnership with the Global Restaurant Leadership Conference (GRLC), the initiative included the provision of essential equipment and medical support as well as engagement in interactive activities alongside the students.
Speaking about this latest edition of Volunteer Emirates, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares said: “Through this edition, we are helping children with disabilities to overcome the barriers that prevent them from accessing equal learning opportunities. Dubai Cares is grateful to partner once again with Coca-Cola, a prime example of a socially responsible company. Participating in this edition of Volunteer Emirates, Coca-Cola employees alongside volunteers from the UAE community will certainly help children with disabilities get incorporated into mainstream education, elevating their personal growth and life chances while helping them integrate into society.”
Dr. Nadia Al Sayegh, Chairwoman, Senses Residential and Day Care Centre said, “We thank Dubai Cares for its continued support of children with disabilities and for providing basic care and tools to integrate them into public life and enhance their potential to contribute to the development of society."
Murat Ozgel, General Manager at Coca-Cola Middle East said: “We are very proud to be continuing our patronage of Dubai Cares’ Volunteer Emirates program with this latest edition at Senses Residential and Day Care. Senses provides an enriching and priceless environment for young people with disabilities to learn and flourish, and ultimately live a more fulfilling and happy life. Happiness and positive change is something we as a company and a brand are always seeking to drive globally. To do that here in the UAE - alongside Dubai Cares and with the time and energy of our staff - is a humbling experience that we are pleased to see making a real difference to these young people’s lives.”
The center is home to children and young people from the age of three, with special needs ranging from mild autism to severe cerebral palsy. It is run as a not-for-profit organization, and is reliant on donations from the public and support from businesses.
Paolo Cappellini, one of the participating volunteers said, “It has been a very educational volunteer experience. The children and the staff at the centre have given us much more than what we have given them today.”
Dr. Abdulaziz Istaitieh, said: “When I iron clothes at home, it’s just a chore. But ironing clothes for others today filled me with immense joy.”
In addition to Dubai Cares’ provision of essential equipment and medical support, the volunteers participated in sports, arts, crafts and other interactive activities.