Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi (second from right), President of American University of Sharjah, with an honouree Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: As many as 30 philanthropic organisations based in the UAE have been honoured for serving communities in need.

Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, President of American University of Sharjah (AUS), honoured them also for their long-standing partnerships with AUS at the Community Partners Recognition Reception.

Organised by the Community Service and Outreach Division at the AUS Office of Student Affairs, the event honoured AUS’ community partners, with whom AUS has built strong partnerships throughout the years, offering its students diverse and unlimited volunteering experiences.

The event featured a celebratory video highlighting the role of the many organisations that worked with AUS throughout the years in some of its most impactful initiatives.

During the ceremony Image Credit: Supplied

Impactful initiatives

These include the Hand in Hand project with the Sharjah Social Empowerment Foundation, which saw an average of 100 students every year volunteering to rehabilitate schools and orphanages; the AUS Blind Group with the Emirates Association for the Visually Impaired, which help provide audiobooks for people with visual impairments; UAE Red Crescent collaborations; Sharjah Police collaborations on the annual AUS Awareness Day. The most recent AUS’ contribution to build a classroom in Ghana on the occasion of the AUS Silver Jubilee, in collaboration with Sharjah Charity International, was also highlighted.

The event also included a photo exhibition that highlighted the projects in which AUS student volunteers have partnered with several organisations since 2005.

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Transformative experience

The AUS said community service and volunteerism are entrenched in its institutional values. Among these are offering a transformative experience that prepares students to become outward-looking, responsible individuals who are ready to make a positive impact on the world, and offering opportunities for active engagement that contributes to the development of society.

“We have always sought through our Community Service and Outreach division at AUS to forge strong relationships with social institutions to better serve the community in which we work. Our track record is a testimony to the work our volunteer students have been diligently putting toward making a difference in the lives of those who are under-resourced. As AUS celebrates its 25th anniversary, we gladly recognise our partners in this long journey,” said Aisha Ali, Community Service and Outreach Manager at AUS.

She added: “It is our mission to engage students and faculty in meaningful service-learning projects that benefit the community, while also providing opportunities for personal growth and development. We foster a strong sense of social responsibility and promote a culture of civic engagement through a range of volunteering projects that focus on youth development, environmental protection, health promotion and poverty alleviation.”

Meeting students

The AUS President also met the 17 members of the AUS Student Council, who shared their ideas, suggestions, and aspirations for university life and beyond.

Sheikha Bodour with AUS students Image Credit: Supplied

On the occasion, Sheikha Bodour guaranteed that the students’ voices would be instrumental in the university’s vision and strategy, and urged them to embrace the opportunity to build on AUS’s positive legacy. She said the Student Councillors can help nurture well-rounded students who prize qualities such as teamwork, community service, and responsibility, and encouraged them to make the most of university life to maximize their competitive edge in the future job market.