Just 10 months after its launch, the charity Dubai Cares has passed its target of providing primary education to one million children in the world's poorest countries. The charity, which raised more than Dh3.4 billion (US$925 million) in eight weeks, is believed to have reached three million children in the Arab world alone since its launch in September 2007 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
"We reached our objective and are so happy but now we want to do more," Reem al Hashimy, the charity's chairman, said last night. "This is a cause close to everybody's heart. Everybody has children or knows children. It's something everyone can connect to and Dubai Cares is a very exciting project." She was speaking ahead of a trip to Niger, where she and a small delegation plan to visit projects funded by Dubai Care's donations.
Ms Hashimy, former deputy UAE ambassador to the United States, said the charity's next campaign would not be aimed at raising funds but at encouraging people to volunteer in educational programmes in the Arab world. Marketing will begin in September and the volunteer projects are expected to start in October. Meanwhile, Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the UAE Red Crescent Authority (RCA), yesterday praised a decision to set up UAE External Aid Liaison Bureau (EALB) to bolster the country's humanitarian efforts, the state news agency WAM reported.
Sheikh Hamdan, who is also Chairman of EALB, said the creation of the bureau was in line with the directives of President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. "The next phase will see all UAE humanitarian efforts unified under the name of the UAE to create synergies and to benefit from the initiatives of giving and caring," Sheikh Hamdan said. The bureau aimed to highlight UAE's efforts in providing aid and documents the country's humanitarian initiatives abroad.