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Commitment to compassion
December 02, 2017
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In December 2016, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan declared 2017 as the ‘Year of Giving’, in which three key pillars were highlighted throughout the year: Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR, Volunteering, and Serving the Nation.

Inspired by the values of hospitality and generosity that lay at the heart of the UAE’s Arab identity and are an example of the nation’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Year of Giving saw the development of various comprehensive frameworks via various initiatives, strategies and programmes that cemented the values of giving and philanthropy amongst the UAE’s citizens and residents.

In March 2017, the National Committee for the Year of Giving announced the launch of over 1,400 local initiatives and programmes to consolidate the culture of giving and generosity, engaging both private and public sector entities, and targeting various segments of society across the UAE.

In June 2017, Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of The Big Heart Foundation, TBHF, launched ‘The Girl Child Fund,’ an initiative to advocate for the rights of girls worldwide.

In September, the National Committee for the Year of Giving announced that 2017 saw dozens of initiatives being successfully implemented as part of the UAE National Strategy for the Year of Giving. Over AED1.6 billion was collected through Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR initiatives, as well as through private and public sector and individual donations.

Also, over 2.8 million volunteer hours were registered, and 141 institutions offered 716 volunteer opportunities in various fields, along with almost 275,000 volunteers who registered nationwide through the national volunteer platform.

These initiatives not only had a local impact but also reached international communities. The Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, donated Dhs 33.85 million to support 7,692 orphans living across Sudanese governorates as part of the Year of Giving.

In August of this year, the Zayed Giving Convoy completed the installation of 40 medical aid camps in various Sudanese villages, where over 500,000 children and elders benefited from the diagnostic treatments and preventative programmes provided by the medical aid camps.

The ‘For You, Somalia’ campaign launched under the umbrella of the Year of Giving saw a UAE ship carry 1,700 tonnes of food supplies, provided by the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation to alleviate dire living conditions and assist those affected by drought, sent to the port of Berbera in Somalia. The Emirates Medicine Bank contributed to providing medical aid to 5,000 underprivileged children and elderly people by increasing medicinal stocks in the Zayed Giving Initiative clinics and mobile hospitals in Somalia. Dubai Cares volunteers catalogued 10,000 books destined for Syrian Refugee Children in Jordan. In May, an agreement to sponsor 200 Syrian orphans in Tripoli, Lebanon, was signed by the Humanitarian and Development Affairs Attaché at the UAE Embassy in Lebanon, and the Sanabel Al Nour Association as part of the charitable projects launched by the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation line with the UAE Year of Giving initiative to provide support to the underprivileged.

In keeping with this spirit of generosity and philanthropy, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa declared 2018 as the ‘Year of Zayed’, marking 100 years since the birth of the country’s Founding Father, celebrating his glorious human and cultural legacy and continuing his inspirational and noble values that have helped shape the conscience of the UAE people for generations to come.


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