Dubai: Some 18 million people from 53 developing countries benefited from the programmes of Dubai Cares in 2017, the “Year of Giving”.
Dubai Cares, a part of Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, spent a total of Dh150.78 million ($41 million) in 2017, as well as launched 26 new programmes and supported two million additional beneficiaries globally, bringing the total number of beneficiaries to 18 million in 53 developing countries.
Dubai Cares in the process has expanded its reach into eight new countries — namely Antigua and Barbuda, Colombia, Gambia, Kiribati, Madagascar, Peru, St Vincent and Grenadines, and Zimbabwe.
Dubai Cares successfully delivered five million books in 15 countries to children in schools, libraries and Syrian refugee camps to fulfil the initial target set for the “Reading Nation” campaign launched in 2016. The books were distributed in Algeria, Cambodia, Jordan, India, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Nepal, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, and Vietnam as well as in UAE-based hospitals in Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah.
In 2017, Dubai Cares also engaged more than 3,200 volunteers and 14,500 supporters, compared to 1,215 volunteers and 10,500 supporters in 2016 in its local and global community engagement and volunteering initiatives, namely “Volunteer Emirates”, “Volunteer Globally” and “Walk for Education”.
This increase was mainly due to Dubai Cares’ emphasis on contributing to the success of Year of Giving 2017 by increasing its editions of “Volunteer Emirates” from four in 2016 to eight in 2017.
Dubai Cares’ fundraising efforts also received a boost in 2017 in support of its local and global activities and programmes.
The most successful fundraising initiative for the year was “Adopt a School” where UAE-based individuals and organisations adopted 18 schools in Cambodia, Malawi, Nepal, Palestine and Senegal in the same year.
The fundraising support for the Rohingya refugee children in Bangladesh was also a success with the total funds reaching Dh1,836,750 ($500,000).
Reflecting on the year’s activities, Tariq Al Gurg, CEO of Dubai Cares, said: “2017 was a dynamic and rewarding year for Dubai Cares, particularly in terms of our programmatic intervention and our fundraising and community engagement efforts. In the last quarter of 2016, we put in place big plans for the organisation for 2017 and with the launch of the UAE’s ‘Year of Giving 2017’, these plans became even more challenging and ambitious.”
Together with its implementing partners, which include UN agencies as well as international and local NGOs, Dubai Cares has managed to increase the level of enrolment in schools, ensure gender equality, reduce dropout rates, improve the quality of education, across all programmes and contributed to the global body of evidence-based best practices.
“Our achievements are not just restricted to facts and figures, Dubai Cares has successfully contributed to generating more and better evidence to inform and influence decision and policymakers on what works and what models of delivery of education offer the greatest potential for impact in terms of providing quality education in developing countries,” Al Gurg said.
“As we gear up for the ‘Year of Zayed 2018’, we remain committed to education — and to working in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education, and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all,” Al Gurg concluded.
Other Dubai Cares achievements in 10 years
Built and renovated 2,000 schools and classrooms
Provided more than 780 water wells and potable water sources
Constructed 6,035 latrines in schools
Provided nutritious food to 484,500 children in schools
Trained over 94,330 teachers
Kept more than 34.4 million children free from intestinal worms through de-worming activities
Distributed over 3 million books written in local languages
Established over 7,190 Parent-Teacher Associations