x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

UAE charity gives girls a chance to go to school

Dubai Cares will help girls in 28 developing nations overcome barriers to education.

Dubai Cares helps children in Nepal to develop the habit of reading. Courtesy Wam
Dubai Cares helps children in Nepal to develop the habit of reading. Courtesy Wam

DUBAI // A UAE charity will work with religious leaders and community members in Asia and Africa to give girls access to education.

Dubai Cares, which is working on improving access to quality primary education in 28 developing countries, will launch programmes this year to overcome "traditional and cultural barriers".

"We are looking at 10 new programmes in six to seven countries," said Asma Malik, country programme manager at Dubai Cares, on the sidelines of the 10th Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development conference and exhibition that ended yesterday.

"The plan is to launch programmes that look at early child development and add programmes that tackle girls' education."

Ms Malik said challenges faced by the charity varied in different regions and innovative programmes were needed to tackle them.

"In rural areas you need to be able to collaborate with religious leaders as well as with community members to convince them and help raise awareness on the importance of educating their girls," she said

In Asia, however, Ms Malik said the challenge was different when girls began secondary education.

"In Asian contexts, the problem is not with the access to education but the transition period when girls start to drop out … due to lack of sanitation and hygiene facilities, and also because girls either tend to get married very early or get pregnant very early."

Ms Malik said poor economic conditions was another reason girls stopped attending schools.