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Milestones in UAE’s Year of Giving

The Year of Giving collected, as of September, over Dh1.6 billion from various entities

Gulf News

Dubai: When 2017 was announced as the Year of Giving, the UAE and its people quickly and devotedly responded.

Public and private institutions as well as individuals and groups came forward to contribute to the noble cause by launching numerous initiatives and spreading humanitarian work that helped change the lives of thousands of people inside and outside the country.

Latest figures in September showed that the Year of Giving has managed to collect over Dh1.6 billion through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives and programmes, and private and public sector and individual donations.

Over 2.8 million volunteer hours were registered, and 141 institutions offered 716 volunteer opportunities in various fields, along with almost 275,000 volunteers who registered nationwide through the National Volunteer Platform.

Among the main initiatives of the Year of Giving was the launch of the UAE Food Bank, which was announced by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai in January, 2017. With an estimated Dh4 billion worth of food wastage occurring in the UAE every year, the initiative was aimed to curb this practice.

Under the umbrella of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives Foundation, the UAE Food Bank aims to cut food wastage and feed the needy by donating surplus from food businesses to the disadvantaged members of the society through approved charity groups. It has been partnering with major hotel chains, supermarkets, food factories and farms and will open its doors to volunteers to contribute to the distribution of food inside and outside the country.

Almost 136 tonnes of surplus food from food businesses was donated to the needy through the first branch of the Food Bank in Al Quoz since its opening in April until October. A second branch was later launched next to the Canadian University in Al Bada district. Easa Saleh Al Gurg Charity Foundation become the first permanent sponsor of the UAE Food Bank.

Under the UAE Food Bank initiative spearheaded by the Dubai Municipality was the Ramadan Fridge Initiative which allowed residents in Dubai to donate food to the needy through 80 Ramadan fridges distributed at mosques.

From private institutions who quickly showed their commitment was the currency transfer house, Al Ansari Exchange which allocated Dh25 million to charity in 2017, supporting Dubai Cares, Dubai Club for People of Determination, Dubai Autism Centre and many more.

LuLu Group International also quickly committed Dh10 million to support Dubai Cares in its work to improve children’s access to quality primary education in developing countries.

Charity organisations took the lead in coordinating and executing charitable initiatives across the UAE with private and government institutions.

Nearly 130 patients benefited from a Dubai Health Authority’s ‘Save A Heart’ campaign, with a treatment cost of over Dh1 million and more than Dh48 million worth of medicines were distributed to 300 underprivileged patients in the same year.

Simple acts of kindness were seen taking place everywhere. The Year of Giving lead to a culture of compassion that penetrated all layers of society. From individuals distributing food and clothes to workers to Dubai Civil Defence surprising a woman with the gift of a new furry feline friend resembling the pet she lost in a recent fire, the Year of Giving, generated a groundswell of benevolence in the country

To further instill the culture of giving back and enhance the spirit of volunteering and loyalty within the community Shaikh Khalifa declared 2018 the “Year of Zayed” in the UAE, a year which marks 100 years since the birth of the late founding father Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, It will highlight the role of the late leader in establishing the UAE Federation, and his local, regional and international achievements.

The Year of Giving precedes the Year of Zayed because the value of giving is mirrored in Shaikh Zayed’s spirit and it will be a continuation of giving.

Timeline — Year of Giving

December 24, 2016

President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan announces that 2017 will be the ‘Year of Giving.’ Shaikh Khalifa urges the younger generation to carry forward the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s legacy of giving.

December 25, 2016

The committee for Year of Giving set up, which includes five ministers and secretaries-general of the emirates’ executive councils. It may include other members nominated by local governments.

December 26, 2016

Al Ansari Exchange, a currency transfer house, will donate Dh25 million to charity in 2017 as part of Year of Giving.

January 01, 2017

The official logo of the ‘Year of Giving 2017’ is released, to be used by all local, government and media entities in all campaigns, programmes and initiatives related to the initiative.

January 03, 2017

UAE Food Bank, a new charity initiative, is launched to distribute food to those in need while eliminating wastage, as part of Year of Giving.

January 04, 2017

Shaikha Hind Bint Maktoum Bin Juma Al Maktoum is appointed as chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the non-profit organisation.

January 29, 2017

The UAE’s Lawyers Association launches a Dh1 million legal consultation endowment for the needy individuals in cooperation with the Mohammad Bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy. The endowment is in line with The Year of Giving.

February 01, 2017

A legislative framework will govern humanitarian activities in the UAE and charity work done by corporate houses will be monitored, it is announced during a retreat on Year of Giving.

February 04, 2017

A large number of Yemenis who suffered injuries during the ongoing war in that country, will receive medical treatment in UAE hospitals, the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) announces, as part of Year of Giving.

February 08, 2017

The Community Development Authority in Dubai (CDA) introduces seven key initiatives to inspire the residents to give back to the community this Year of Giving.

March 01, 2017

Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation (AMAF) has settled the debts of 25 families whose bread-winners had passed away in 2016, with a total allocation of Dh6.17 million. The development comes in line with the Year of Giving initiative.

March 05, 2017

The UAE dedicates the ‘Year of Giving’ along with all its initiatives and activities to the UAE martyrs in memory of their heroic deeds and in appreciation of their sacrifices.

March 20, 2017

A total of 1,400 charity initiatives launched across the country throughout the Year of Giving. A high-level committee for the Year of Giving announced that various initiatives are being launched by each of the seven emirates and will target all segments of the UAE society.

April 11, 2017

The UAE spends more on aid to develop other countries than any other nation on earth compared to its wealth, states a new Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report. The OECD announcement coincides with the UAE’s Year of Giving.

April 18, 2017

Medicines worth Dh48 million are distributed free to more than 300 under-privileged patients by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) to mark the Year of Giving.

April 19, 2017

The Low-income Families Committee of the Dar Al Ber Society in Umm Al Quwain successfully completed nine charity initiatives worth Dh5 million over the first quarter of this year. Eleven other charity projects are to be launched in the remaining months of this year as part of the committee’s participation in the Year of Giving.

July 18, 2017

The Dubai Civil Defence surprised a woman with the gift of a new furry feline friend resembling the pet she lost in a recent fire, as part of the Year of Giving.

September 10, 2017

The Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, in cooperation with Emirates Post Group, has issued Year of Giving memorial stamps as part of its Good Post initiative.

September 19, 2017

More than Dh1 million has been spent on the federal ‘Save A Heart’ campaign organised by the Musa’adah (Assistance) committee of the Dubai Health Authority, as part of the Year of Giving.

October 08, 2017

Philanthropic fund Sandooq Al Watan get an additional Dh62 million thanks to a donation by Emaar Properties PJSC, as part of the Year of Giving.

October 22, 2017

Dubai Municipality announces a Dh10m park named Charity Oasis which will accept date palm trees from the public to donate the yield to the needy.

November 20, 2017

Dubai Cares received a contribution of Dh1 million from Emirates Islamic, through the bank’s Emirates Islamic Charity Fund, to support Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, as part of the Year of Giving.

Compiled by Gulf News Archives

Main contributors of Year of Giving

December 26, 2016

Al Ansari Exchange, a currency transfer house, donated Dh25 million to charity in 2017 as part of Year of Giving.

January 04, 2017

Dubai Police distributed a number of meals to a group of workers, as part of Year of Giving.

January 12, 2017

Dubai Municipality gifted a recreational park to the members and inmates of Emirates Down syndrome Association in Al Ghusais as part of the Year of Giving initiative.

January 15, 2017

The Dubai Courts Department (DCD) launched a voluntary initiative to promote legal experts’ participation in charitable and humanitarian movement in the UAE as part of 2017 being the ‘Year of Giving’.

January 24, 2017

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) adopted seven initiatives to mark the Year of Giving.

February 23, 2017

A new innovation Centre dedicated to developing skills of children with special needs through their interaction with modern technologies was launched by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa). The facility was launched as part of the Year of Giving

March 19, 2017

Dubai residents who ditched their cars for a day have helped donate Dh200,000 to support needy people and persons with special needs in the emirate. Dubai Municipality donated the amount as part of a Year of Giving initiative linked to the Car Free Day it observed last month.

April 18, 2017

Medicines worth Dh48 million were distributed for free to more than 300 under-privileged patients by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) to mark the Year of Giving.

April 19, 2017

The Low-income Families Committee of the Dar Al Ber Society in Umm Al Quwain successfully completed nine charity initiatives worth Dh5 million over the first quarter of this year. Eleven other charity projects were launched in the remaining months of 2017 as part of the committee’s participation in the Year of Giving.

May 26, 2017

In line with the Year of Giving initiative Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation in collaboration with the Department of Awqaf, Sharjah, organised an Umrah trip for 11 orphans.

July 16, 2017

Dubai Municipality started giving out umbrellas to the public to protect them from the summer heat, as part of the Year of Giving.

July 26, 2017

Dar Al Ber Society signed an agreement with Zulekha Healthcare Group in Sharjah and Dubai and Alexis Hospital in India to secure free treatment for low-income patients. The move was in line with 2017 being declared the Year of Giving.

August 10, 2017

A charity project led by Seddiqi & Sons in collaboration with Emirates Red Crescent saw around 2,200 watches donated by people across the UAE to support those in need, as part of the Year of Giving.

October 18, 2017

A rewards programme for around 300,000 people in the GEMS Education school network was kicked off, giving them discounts in leading brands and referral points in the form of discounted school fees, among others, as part of the Year of Giving.

Compiled by Gulf News Archives

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