Dubai Cares volunteers successfully set the foundation for a new school in Nepal Image Credit: Courtesy: Dubai Cares

Dubai: Fifteen volunteers of Dubai Cares from the UAE laid the foundation for a community school in a village in Nepal.

Once completed, the school in the village of Phuleli in the district of Kanchanpur will be able to accommodate 150 children and 60 illiterate women.

The volunteers were in Nepal to take part in Dubai Cares’ philanthropic 2017 edition of Volunteer Globally, which aims to engage UAE residents by offering them an opportunity to give back to the community.

The volunteers participated in school worksite activities including digging trenches, laying bricks, tying and reinforcing steel bars as well as mixing concrete among other activities. These activities were also combined with cultural education workshops for better interaction and understanding of the local community.

“Volunteerism is part of Dubai Cares’ DNA, and we see it as one of the clearest expressions of solidarity with communities around the world and an effective tool for sustainable development,” said Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares.

“Through our Volunteer Globally initiative, our aim is to engage volunteers based in the UAE in a unique experience and give them an opportunity to see the reality on the ground and help us in addressing pressing challenges related to education in developing countries,” he added.

Al Gurg said they were proud of the commitment and dedication of the volunteers who travelled from the UAE to dedicate their time, passion and expertise to provide the gift of education to underprivileged children in Nepal. The impact of the work carried out by the volunteers in the span of just one week will certainly last for decades.”

The weeklong mission between October 21 and 27 exposed the participants, who came from different backgrounds and cultures, to a plethora of emotions, mainly a sense of fulfilment for having contributed to the education of hundreds of schoolchildren and illiterate women within that small community.

Emirati volunteer Iman Al Marri said taking some time out from her day to volunteer has been an essential ritual since she was 16 year-old.

“Being part of Dubai Cares’ Volunteer Globally initiative allows me to help others not only in my own community, but also around the world and experience something outside my daily lifestyle. I hope this experience makes a difference to the life of children and young people in this village in Nepal,” she said.

The same feeling was shared by Joe Doyle from the US who said: “As the world gets more and more complex, we consistently get tied up with our own problems, forgetting the problems of others. Volunteering is a cure; it’s the way for all of us to stay humble and most importantly committed to helping everyone to have a better life. Dubai Cares’ initiative to build a school in Nepal will certainly open new horizons to help children realise their dreams and have a bright and successful future.”

Kanchanpur is home to the population of indigenous Tharu. Across the region, 44 per cent of the population is living below the poverty line, and illiteracy rates in rural Nepal are close to 70 per cent. Obstacles to education include costs, distance and low quality of life. Parents prefer their children working than getting education, leading to many children dropping out of schools or failing to enrol.

Dubai Cares is constantly looking for volunteers, who are UAE residents, enthusiastic about social work and physically capable of performing construction work and adapting to the working conditions and life routine in developing countries.