x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Volunteer Campaign launches

The Dubai Cares charity launches a series of initiatives encouraging people to volunteer to help children across the globe.

The Dubai Cares charity yesterday launched a series of initiatives encouraging people to volunteer to help children across the globe. The Volunteer Campaign was launched in the presence of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai at the Al Maktoum School for Boys yesterday. The Dubai Cares team said this year's campaign focused on the benefits of volunteering to help children around the world.

Dubai Cares said that with the help of donations the charity was building 2,072 schools and training more than 22,370 teachers across the globe. The charity also helped establish 3,157 parent-teacher associations. However, the officials said they want to urge the community to go beyond donations and become volunteers. Reem al Hashimy, chairman of the Dubai Cares board, said: "Dubai Cares calls upon all individuals and sectors of the UAE to participate in this year's campaign through which we can achieve a sense of fulfilment only attained by reaching out to those in need."

Children and adults were invited to join the Volunteer Emirates programme, which provides residents with an opportunity to volunteer at schools in the UAE. A Volunteer Globally programme was also launched to fill 10 volunteer missions in Cambodia, the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar and the Yemeni island of Socotra. A Volunteer Virtually programme would offer individuals and companies the chance to help through the internet.

In the campaign's first initiative, school children in Dubai were given an opportunity to donate one million books to other youngsters around the world. The Million Book Challenge calls on Emirates-based pupils to try to read a collective total of one million books in a period of two weeks. For each book read, Dubai Cares will buy a book and donate it to children in need. The distribution of books will be managed by the global organisation Room to Read and non-governmental organisations from the Arab region.

Sheikh Mohammed praised the Dubai Cares campaign and encouraged children to read and acquire knowledge that will benefit them in establishing a prosperous future. The ceremony was also attended by Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the chairman of the Events Management Corporation, and other senior officials. Dubai Cares is also offering residents and visitors an opportunity to strengthen literacy in developing countries by sponsoring a book for Dh10 through the Dubai Cares website, or at participating book stores.

The phase one grants of Dubai Cares benefited several countries including Bangladesh, Bosnia, Chad, the Comoros Islands, Djibouti, Maldives, Mauritania, Niger, Pakistan, the Palestinian Territories, Sudan, Yemen and others. @Email:pmenon@thenational.ae