• 1 October 2009

 Dubai Cares, the UAE-based philanthropic institution founded by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Prime Minister and Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, has announced the successful conclusion of the first phase of its Thirst for Education campaign that was carried out during the holy month of Ramadan.

Generous contributions to the Thirst for Education campaign from more than 120,000 members of the UAE community will provide children with access to clean drinking water which can ultimately increase school enrollment rates, decrease absenteeism and improve children’s overall health. We are deeply grateful to the community for their continued support of our efforts to give children access to quality education globally.”

The first country to benefit from the Thirst for Education campaign will be the East African country of Mali. The program will target water and sanitation initiatives, including the building of water wells and latrines in schools and the training of children and parents on applied and effective hygiene practices. The call for proposals has been completed and the evaluation phase is currently underway for this multi-million dollar program.

Mali and the specific programs of the Dubai Cares intervention were selected using a demand-led review process conducted by Dubai Cares and their international NGO partners.  Mali was chosen to be the first country to benefit from the Thirst for Education campaign.  It is one of the world’s most disadvantaged countries, with around two-thirds of the population living below the poverty line and is ranked 174 out of 177 countries by the United Nations Human Development Index. According to official data, less than half the population of Mali has access to safe water.

In mid-October, Dubai Cares will lead a monitoring, evaluation and learning workshop with our NGO partners.  This innovative methodology will stress an interactive learning approach whereby all partners share and disseminate information that will improve program sustainability. The comprehensive water and sanitation program in schools will be launched in Mali in the beginning of November 2009.

Preparations are underway for the second phase of the Thirst for Education campaign which will endeavor to mobilize the UAE community to help make a difference to the lives of millions of children globally. Details will be announced soon.

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