Until recently, students at Abdara Girls’ School had no solid roof over their heads either, and as a result, the school remained closed during winter months as it is too cold, wet and dangerous in the classrooms for children.
With the support of Dubai Cares, Mahboba’s Promise, an Australian non-profit organization dedicated to the women and children of Afghanistan, identified Abdara Schools and their need for basic facilities to ensure a safer and more positive educational experience. As the only schools in the local community, they lacked clean water and security and as a result children were suffering from cold, damp conditions. In order to function in the most efficient and beneficial way possible, a five-month restoration program at the Abdara Girls’ School and its neighboring Abdara Boys School, was undertaken to ensure that students remain dry and safe in their classrooms, with no interruption to their daily learning schedule due to environmental concerns. For the first time in ten years, these students now have waterproof roofs over their heads at school.
Between April and August 2013, Dubai Cares funded and oversaw renovations across both schools. The girls’ school received a long-awaited roof made of iron metal sheeting to protect them from rainfall, in addition to the installation of a solar panel, the provision of 50 study chairs and desks and a 2000-litre water tank. The Abdara Boys’ School had a wall plastered and painted around the perimeter to ensure safety, the provision of 100 new study chairs and desks and the provision of a 5000-litre water tank that can be refilled by rain water if needed. Dubai Cares support enabled its implementing partner to ensure that this basic work could be completed. This included consultation with Department of Education and Parent Teacher Association, the formation of Construction Committee, selecting the contractor, recruiting volunteer labor from the community, in addition to all mechanics involved in constructing the roof and walls around the schools.
Saleh Mohammad, an Abdara Community Elder, said: “I have grandchildren in both schools. Now we have no worries about their education, my grandsons have the benefit of the surrounding wall and my granddaughter will be protected from rain and snow by the new roof throughout winter. The project also benefited the larger community through the creation of job opportunities. All the workers, including skilled and unskilled labor, were recruited from the local community and reaped the financial benefits of the project”.
The activity forms part of Dubai Cares’ strategy to ensure children attend school and also have a supportive learning environment to encourage them to remain in school. The UAE-based philanthropic organization works to tackle poverty through education in developing countries, and has reinforced its commitment to ensure that every child around the world receives quality primary education. Through its worldwide efforts, Dubai Cares is now reaching more than 10 million children in 35 developing countries, with the aim of arming future generations in the fight against poverty, instability, inequality and prejudice, through quality primary education.