• 30 November 2014

Dubai Cares today organized a school ceremony to recognize nine outstanding works created by the students of Dubai, celebrating the spirit of #MyDubai. #MyDubai is an initiative by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, inviting residents and visitors to join him in sharing photos, videos and stories of their daily lives in Dubai by using the hashtag #MyDubai with the aim to create the world's first autobiography of a city.

Dubai Cares worked with schools around the UAE on the Creative Challenge – a two-week project that channeled the creative talents of the student force into enriching the #MyDubai initiative, whilst raising awareness and funds for Dubai Cares programs in the developing world. As part of the Creative Challenge, the #MyDubai logo was the subject of an artistic interpretation by the students.

Talking about #MyDubai and how it prompted the Creative Challenge, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares said: "This project beautifully aligns with His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's vision to showcase the multiple hues and facets of Dubai. The #MyDubai initiative has grown into the exemplary Dubai biography authored by its own residents, and through the Creative Challenge by Dubai Cares, we wanted to instill it with the confidence and optimism reflected by the interpretations of the students. Our objective in setting out this challenge is to showcase how a sound educational foundation harnesses and liberates the creative impulses of the youth. The students were given free reign over the use of media, colors and design and the final nine selections were truly representative of the pulse of this city's youth in its vibrancy, creativity, generosity and globalism."

Conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) as well as the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), the challenge invited students across the UAE to create a multi-colour representation of the city using an A3 canvas outlined with #MyDubai logo. The completed #MyDubai canvases were evaluated for their clarity of concept, creativity and innovation in execution and ability to utilize materials to illustrate a concept. The funds raised through the entry fee of AED 30 per student was routed to Dubai Cares programs providing children in developing countries access to quality primary education.

HE Marwan Al Sawaleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education expressed the Ministry's appreciation and pride for what Dubai Cares has achieved on the global humanitarian level, specifically in the field of education, and other areas of development. HE commented on how Dubai Cares achievements reflect the depth of the noble vision conceived by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. Those achievements placed the organization and its efforts, at the forefront of goodness and peace missions by the United Arab Emirates. HE continued by saying that the Ministry of Education, by working to connect the people of the UAE to the skills of the 21st century, the era of science and future as well as discovering and nurturing talent, we see that strengthening our relationship with Dubai Cares and benefitting from their successful and innovative programs is one of the important steps, which benefits the sons and daughters of the UAE, as it also represents an important addition to the Ministry's development outlook in the coming phase, especially at the level of student activities and care. "

"We are delighted by the response to this creative challenge and would like to thank all the students who took part," said Hind Al Mualla, Chief of Engagement at KHDA. In addition to supporting Dubai Cares, the initiative has given the students of Dubai a chance to develop their innovative and creative skills. An integral part of happiness in education, creative expression helps to build confidence and ambition in young people."

Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: "The response we have seen from the Dubai Cares Creative Challenge is overwhelming. By creating this project, we have not only been able to engage and motivate students across Dubai, but we have also presented a new opportunity for them to get involved in supporting the #MyDubai initiative. By working with schools across the emirate, we are broadening the reach of #MyDubai, tapping into what we have discovered is a huge talent pool to capture an even more varied range of moments and experiences, from the perspective of children, that people in Dubai and around the world can relate to and be inspired by. Of course, we are thrilled that through this project, we have also been able to raise funds that, through the great work of Dubai Cares will go towards providing children in developing countries with access to quality primary education, which is so important but a lot of us take it for granted."

The challenge, which ran from October 22 to November 5, attracted 4,223 entries from 75 schools, spanning public and private institutions. At the end of the period, each participating school shortlisted the best 10 canvases, which were then submitted to an independent panel composed of Emirati artists. The panel selected the top 100 submissions, which were then shortlisted to three submissions from each of the primary school, secondary school and high school categories, amounting to nine winners in total.

All participating schools were also recognized and awarded for their participation by Dubai Cares, Ministry of Education, KHDA and DTCM at the recognition ceremony.

"We were overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response to the Creative Challenge and want to express our sincere thanks to all the schools that took part and especially the students who invested their time, effort, and creativity in this challenge. The challenge aimed to tap into the deep pool of talent across UAE's schools to showcase the impact that education can instigate. Education broadens mind, sparks innovation, builds ambition and empowers the youth to chase their goals. Through the Creative Challenge, we were successful in representing the ambition and aspirations of the students of the UAE. It exemplifies what we hope to replicate in all the countries we serve," concluded Al Gurg.

Over the past seven years, Dubai Cares, with the support of the UAE community, has been facilitating change and development in children's education in developing communities around the globe. To date, Dubai Cares has reached more than 10 million children in 35 developing countries.

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