Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, today kicked off its ‘Back to School’ edition of Volunteer Emirates in support of children affected by the Syrian crisis in Jordan. The first day of the initiative, which is running from 26th May to 29th May, saw 500 volunteers from the UAE community come together at Al Boom Tourist Village to pack school kits that will be distributed to children ahead of the beginning of the new school year. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares kicked off the initiative and joined the volunteers in packing the school kits. Around 2,000 volunteers are expected to participate in this 4-day initiative taking place during the holy month of Ramadan.
Speaking about this Back to School edition of Volunteer Emirates, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares, said: “As the protracted conflict in Syria continues, more and more children and young people are witnessing their education – and in turn their future – slipping away. Dubai Cares has been working towards ensuring children and young people affected by emergencies catch up to the education of kids their age, and through initiatives like this we are allowing the UAE community to support us by ensuring that they are properly equipped with basic school essential prior to the beginning of the new school year. As we reflect on the Year of Zayed 2018 and the values of this holy month, we would like to extend our thanks to our volunteers who have demonstrated commendable effort and passion in donating their time and energy for worthy cause.”
Shakeel Afzal, one of the participating volunteers, commented: “This is what Ramadan is about – the UAE community coming together to recognize the difficulties faced by others and donate our time in order to help them. I’m proud to support Dubai Cares here today.”
Maria Luz Pilos, another volunteer, added: “It’s rewarding to know just how much of a positive impact these school bags will have on Syrian refugee children. We’re giving them the best possible start during such an important period of their lives, because we all recognize just how important education is in nurturing resilient and confident children.”
According to a 2018 UNHCR report, Jordan recorded 657,628 registered Syrian refugees as of February 2018, with 51 percent of those being children. Although 126,127 Syrian children were enrolled in public school during the 2016–2017 academic year, 40 percent of school-aged child refugees remain without an education. In Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp, which today houses more than 80,000 Syrian refugees, around 25 percent of the camp’s 28,599 school-aged children are out of school.