Abu Dhabi: The Emirates Foundation on Monday announced receiving a generous endowment of Dh5 million from philanthropist and businesswoman Muna Easa Al Gurg, with the funds to go towards the foundation’s programmes for youth empowerment across the UAE.
Commenting on the donation, Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affair and International Cooperation and Chairman of Emirates Foundation, said: “On this occasion, in The Year of Zayed, the UAE proudly honours the deeply held values and noble virtues established by the nation’s founding father Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, which are centred around service oriented actions, selfless giving and altruism.”
Shaikh Abdullah added that advancing progress and development should not be the responsibility of the public and private sectors only, but of all individuals and institutions. The minister praised the donation provided by Muna, which he said serves as a model for others to emulate.
The Dh5 million endowment to the Emirates Foundation is the latest in a series of personal philanthropic donations made by Muna, who is also retail director of Easa Al Gurg Group and an active board member of the Emirates Foundation since 2005. The Foundation will use the endowment to support its portfolio of six programmes for youth development in the UAE, focusing on science, technology and Innovation, social entrepreneurship, financial literacy, volunteerism and employability.
Muna said: “Shaikh Zayed once said that we should ‘Use the wealth which God has provided us in the service of the nation’. This edict should not just apply to our government, but to all of us who have been blessed with prosperity thanks to the wise leadership of the UAE. It is our duty as individuals to ‘pay it forward’ to the generations who come after us.”
In addition to her role in business and as board member for Emirates Foundation, for the last decade, Muna is the Chairwoman of the Young Arab Leaders, where she promotes education, entrepreneurship and youth development.
A strong advocate for women in business, within the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group, Muna established Al Gurg Women’s Empowerment Forum, providing a platform for women to voice their opinions to company board members. In 2015 she launched the Muna Al Gurg Scholarship at London Business School, supporting Arab female students studying on the school’s MBA and Executive MBA program. In addition, she holds a position at the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Charity Foundation, where she is responsible for strategy and initiatives both in the UAE and internationally, including primary education support for underprivileged children in Zanzibar.