Dubai: Students from Innoventures Education-managed schools and nurseries are collaborating with Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, to help bridge the education gap by building four schools in Malawi, Senegal and Nepal, bringing the total number of schools funded through Gift of Innoventures Education (GIVE) to nine. Five schools were built in Nepal and Malawi prior to the pandemic.
The Dubai-based students have used ingenious ways to support the ‘Adopt a School’ initiative by Dubai Cares, which works towards providing children and youth in developing countries with equal access to quality education. Students aged three to 18 raised funds throughout the year, with events such as walkathons, bake sales, festive markets, inter-class competitions and dress up days. Innoventures Education-operated Raffles World Academy collected Dh50,000 through one enthusiastic walkathon.
‘Access to effective learning’
A cheque for Dh632,000 was handed over to Dr Tariq Al Gurg, chief executive officer and vice-chairman of Dubai Cares, at a vibrant function on Monday morning attended by students and staff across Innoventures Education schools. Students raised half of the total amount donated, while the other half was contributed by Innoventures Education’s Board of Directors.
Dr Al Gurg said: “Lack of access to effective learning opportunities has become an ever-expanding global crisis that necessitates everyone’s urgent attention. This is the message that the students of Innoventures Education have demonstrated with their remarkable efforts in raising funds to help their peers in developing countries claim their right to education. Their support will not only help in delivering quality education to those who most need our assistance, but also serve as an example of the positive impact students can have when they take on their role as advocates of educational empowerment. We are thankful to Innoventures Education for their enduring support to Dubai Cares and commend them for their efforts in instilling the values of responsibility, empathy and giving back among their student community.”
Culture of voluntary service
The Gift of Innoventures Education (GIVE) is a consolidated philanthropic initiative committed to provide ongoing support to causes identified by students. Beyond fundraising, GIVE emphasises a culture of voluntary service. Innoventures Education students visited Nepal to break ground on the schools sponsored by GIVE, describing their experience as “transformational” and “eye-opening”, giving them a deeper sense of gratitude and understanding of other cultures.
More than Dh2.2 million has been raised by GIVE till date to help build five schools in partnership with Dubai Cares: Three schools in Nepal and two schools in Malawi. This year, GIVE will support building four more schools: One each in Malawi and Nepal and two in Senegal. The schools will be fitted with furniture and gender-specific toilets to improve access to quality education in a clean and sanitary building.
Bridging the education gap
Poonam Bhojani, chief executive officer of Innoventures Education, said: “While improving the lives of those less fortunate than us, we also build strong values of global citizenship and empathy in our students, which are key 21st century life skills. Ever since the GIVE initiative was launched, it has been immensely rewarding to see how our school communities collaborated with organisations such as our long-standing partner Dubai Cares, to bridge the education gap. From identifying specific causes, raising funds for them to actually travelling to schools, working on construction sites and living with the communities, our students have displayed global consciousness and kindness. We are proud of their contributions and the passionate support of parents and teachers for Dubai Cares’ Adopt a School initiative.”
‘Putting real-life features into perspective’
Diya Patel from Dubai International Academy Emirates Hills, who participated in building schools in Nepal, said: “The GIVE trip to Nepal was a life-changing experience that put real-life features into perspective such as education and lifestyle that we take for granted. I realised there is no barrier to connect with people and to create happiness.”
Thani Al Mehairi, from Raffles World Academy, said: “Holistic education instills in us students the importance of learning balanced with values. GIVE has enabled a unique channel for us to understand that we need to care for all of humanity.”