x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Initiative launched for women's charity

Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed launches an initiative to train Emirati women on the importance of volunteer work.

Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed, the president of Dubai Women Establishment, has launched an initiative to train Emirati women on the importance of volunteer work. The Manal Bint Mohammed Voluntary Programme, which was announced yesterday, coincided with the start of Ramadan and will focus on charity, one of the pillars of Islam, the state news agency WAM reported. "As devout Muslims, we are encouraged to participate in humanitarian activities that best reflect the sublime Islamic values and contribute to establish fraternity and solidarity among all members of the society, particularly during the holy month of Ramadan," Sheikha Manal said.

The first phase of the programme will include the workshops How to Make a Difference, Communication and Teamwork, and Setting Goals, and will incorporate field visits for volunteers as part of their training. The programme will be implemented in partnership with Family International Community Services (FICS), another voluntary organisation that focuses on global educational institutions that specialise in voluntary work.

Sheikha Manal said the programme will encourage Emiratis to integrate more effectively in society and highlight key social issues. FICS has already launched voluntary programmes in several Arab countries, such as Jordan, the Palestinian Territories and Lebanon. During the second phase, volunteers will apply what they have learnt by implementing similar programmes across the country. "The scope of giving should never be restricted to only the material aspect," Sheikha Manal said. "People should contribute their time, effort and knowledge that can multiply several times the benefits the society receives. Voluntary work reflects the principles of social solidarity among the UAE nationals while developing a sense of responsibility towards one's home country and the society."

sbhattacharya@thenational.ae * With additional reporting by WAM