Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Awards (ADA) is utilising the power of the internet and tapping into popular social networking communities to extend its reach across the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

The fourth ADA event encourages people to actively participate in nominating people in the community whose good deeds deserve to be recognised regardless of age, ethnicity or gender. Recipients are selected based on their actions, not by how many nominations they receive.

A dedicated group has been set up on Facebook, allowing residents to spread the positive spirit of the awards. Over 150 people from across the emirate have shown their support by joining the Community of Giving Facebook group and sharing their commendable efforts on the Abu Dhabi Awards Acts of Goodness web page.

Tapping youth

"Everything today is online and the virtual world is an extension of our real world," said Maryam Amiri of the Abu Dhabi Awards Organising Committee.

"We want to create a dialogue with the community and hear what residents have to say so the Facebook group and the 'Acts of Goodness' web page offer a fun and inspiring way to achieve this interaction, whilst also allowing us to tap into the emirate's youth," said Amiri.

Farida Seddiqi, a Red Crescent Volunteer, was one of last year's award winners. "I have always felt compelled to help others since I was a child," said Seddiqi, who also took part in collecting donations in the UAE in 1989 for wounded soldiers in Serbia and Bosnia. "If I see a wounded bird in the street I would go out of my way to help it."

"The most important message out of the awards is to encourage youth to help others and take part in humanitarian acts."