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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

New UAE senior citizens volunteering initiative launched

Move will help engage older members of the community and 'nurture' spirit of giving

Hessa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, has announced the launch of the senior volunteers initiative.
Hessa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, has announced the launch of the senior volunteers initiative.

Senior Emiratis will be given the chance to volunteer in their communities as part of an empowering initiative being rolled out across the UAE.

The scheme, announced at the Abu Dhabi Volunteers 2020 Forum, will ensure people spanning the generations can help to "nurture a culture of giving".

The event was held as preparations gather pace for the capital's hosting of the next International Association for Volunteering Effort World Volunteer Conference in 2020, set to be the largest global gathering of volunteer experts and practitioners, which is to be hosted by Emirates Foundation.

The world conference, which is being held in the Middle East for the first time, is expected to attract more than 1,000 delegates.

The volunteers forum took place at the Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal hotel, with attendees including Hessa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, Dr Mugheer Al Khaili, chairman of the Department of Community Development and Mubarak Saeed Al Shamsi, board member at Emirates Foundation.

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A host of dignitaries and high-level officials from volunteer organisations such as Emirates Red Crescent, Dubai Cares, Watani Al Emarat Foundation and Emirati Marshal were also present.

Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon, a member of Abu Dhabi's Executive Council and managing director of Emirates Foundation, said bringing the event to the UAE was key to the country's volunteering vision.

"Volunteerism is a true reflection of the vision set forth by the wise leadership of the UAE to nurture a culture of giving and civic engagement.

"Hosting the next IAVE World Volunteer Conference in Abu Dhabi in 2020, reaffirms our nation’s leading role in volunteering efforts on the global stage."

"Hosting the global IAVE conference in Abu Dhabi recognises the central role of volunteering in our young nation, which has been built on the spirit of service and giving by the UAE’s Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed," said Hessa Buhumaid, who announced the launch of the senior volunteers initiative.

The programme will focus on engaging senior citizens from all over the country.