Dubai: In support of the 1 Billion Meals initiative, which is being organised by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) to provide food support to the needy and the poor in 50 countries during Ramadan, a ‘Giving Challenge’ has now been launched in partnership with crowdfunding platform YallaGive.
The challenge is witnessing the participation of more than 105 government entities, companies, schools, individuals and educational institutions in the UAE, it was announced on Monday.
The ‘Giving Challenge’ provides a competitive challenge for employees, students and individuals and, in doing so, helps stimulate a community movement in support of the 1 Billion Meals initiative. Through the platform, a portfolio will be allocated to each participating institution, company or school, and challenge participants will be able to donate by choosing any amount they specify, to contribute to their portfolio’s total. These challenges will create a spirit of competition and motivate greater efforts to reach the campaign’s funding total, the organisers said.
YallaGive, the digital platform, provides every institution, company or school with options to introduce its employees, faculty and students to the 1 Billion Meals initiative and its global scope of work. The platform also allows each institution or company to set a specific fundraising goal – such as Dh200,000 – and so creating an exciting, community-minded approach to achieving these important humanitarian goals.
Dr Abdulla Al Karam, director general of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, (KHDA), said: “The education community in Dubai is known for its generosity and its willingness to come together to help others. We know from experience that we can make a significant positive impact when we work together towards a common goal. We’re proud to take part in an initiative that will have long-lasting benefit to the lives of others, and to be able to accomplish this with our education community.”
Ahmad Saeed Al Mansoori, chairman of the Steering Committee and CEO of Radio and TV Sector at Dubai Media Incorporated, said: “Dubai Media Incorporated is keen on participating in unique initiatives, especially those that are consistent with the vision and objectives of humanity, which is clearly represented in the 1 Billion Meals initiative. Through its participation, DMI aims to provide support and exclusive media coverage of the initiative’s activities and operations as well as contribute to food support and food security to enhance the values of giving, extending a helping hand, and charitable and humanitarian work in line with the spirit of the Holy Month of Ramadan. Our participation as a media partner and supporter of the initiative realizes the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to support institutional humanitarian work, achieve its sustainability and expand its positive impact by focusing on the concept of sustainable community financing, where everyone can contribute in different ways and methods, whether material or logistical, or media, or otherwise. Today, we are devoting our efforts within the initiative to spread the culture of hope and positivity in the UAE and the world to achieve the desired development and reach a better future for all.”
Majed Al Joker, Chief Operating Officer at Dubai Airports, said: “Dubai Airports is proud to be a part of the UAE’s 1 Billion Meals initiative. Helping the communities we serve is one of our key values, and we’re extending our support to this worthy cause, together with our colleagues, partners and guests.”
Professor Clayton MacKenzie, provost and chief academic Office at Zayed University, said: “Kindness and supporting the global community is a deep-rooted trait of the UAE - that stems from the values of our Founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed. He was a symbol of love, generosity, and tolerance, and as an academic institution that is named after a visionary humanitarian, we aim to continue to honour his legacy.”
He added: “The Zayed University community and alumni have come together to serve towards a common goal that will reach 50 countries around the globe. We are truly grateful to the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Initiatives and all the organizers for their efforts in facilitating this campaign and urging the nation in participating towards this humanitarian cause that offers aid to the neediest people.”
Dr. Rabaa Al Sumaiti, director-general of the Emirates Schools Establishment, said: “The 1 Billion Meals initiative, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, translates the values and nobility of the UAE, and the good it carries for all humanity, in light of difficult living conditions surrounding entire societies in many countries.”
She added: “The UAE has become a global pioneer in humanitarian efforts. It is a model for giving, inspired by the Islamic values, especially as we live through the Holy Month of Ramadan and its grand meanings that urge giving and extending a helping hand to those in need.”
Charitable, humnaitarian work
Dawood Al Hajri, director general of Dubai Municipality, said: “During the Holy Month of Ramadan, the month of good deeds, we participate in the region’s largest initiative launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, by providing one billion meals to the undernourished and underprivileged in 50 different countries. The initiative has multiple channels open to receive donations from all segments of society including individuals, companies, governmental and private institutions and businessmen. Dubai Municipality participates in this humanitarian challenge by motivating employees to donate and share wages, and this comes from a sense of giving and extending a helping hand and charitable and humanitarian work for individuals of institutions in the country and the world, and to realize the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed in reaching one billion meals.”
Abdullah Al Nuaimi, Yalla Give CEO, said: For the third year in a row, YallaGive, as an online fundraising platform, is honoured to be supporting the largest food distribution campaign in the region. Through the 1 Billion Meals initiative, YallaGive reaffirms its commitment to empowering and engaging individuals, schools and the business sector to collectively and innovatively contribute to global humanitarian initiatives in accordance with local legislation.
Sara Al Nuaimi, director of MBRGI, said: “The Giving Challenge in support of the 1 Billion Meals initiative enhance the role of institutions and companies, and the contributions of their people, to the goal of providing vital food resources to disadvantaged communities around the world. They also expand the circle of comprehensive community mobilization in support of the largest initiative of its kind to feed the needy in 50 countries around the world.”
Al Nuaimi added: “Each institution, company and school participating in the Giving Challenges will have its own portfolio on the smart crowd-funding platform, so that each institution will be encouraged to expand the scope of their 1 Billion Meals support. This will stimulate competition in this vital fundraising work and create an avenue for more people to participate in the campaign.”
Donors can contribute to the 1 Billion Meals initiative through the campaign’s official website; bank transfer to the campaign’s account at Emirates NBD, number: AE300260001015333439802. Donors can also opt to donate Dh1 a day through a monthly subscription by sending “Meal” via SMS to 1020 on the du network or 1110 on the Etisalat network. Donations can also be made through campaign’s call center via a toll-free number 8009999.
The graduates of the Arab Hope Makers initiative launched a similar charity challenge last year to support the 100 Million Meals campaign, which was organized by MBRGI during Ramadan. Up to March 2022, it succeeded in providing food support equivalent to 220 million meals in 47 countries, and its success is now being built on by the 1 Billion Meals initiative.
The challenge, entitled Powered by the Community, motivated companies, institutions, individuals, sports, artistic and cultural groups, and communities in the UAE to contribute extensively to the 100 Million Meals campaign.
1 Billion Meals Initiative
The 1 Billion Meals initiative is organised by MBRGI, in cooperation with the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP), the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment (MBRCH), the Food Banking Regional Network (FBRN), and local humanitarian and charity institutions in beneficiary countries, to deliver food support and food parcels directly to beneficiaries in the less fortunate communities that the initiative covers in 50 countries around the world.