DUBAI: The National Committee for the Year of Giving held a press conference on Monday to highlight the local initiatives and programmes that have been launched in order to consolidate the culture of giving and goodness generosity throughout the UAE.
The initiatives focus on instilling the culture of giving in across various communities, individuals and institutions, including the public and private sectors.
More than 1,400 initiatives have been launched, engaging both private and public sector entities, and targeting various segments of society in the UAE.
These initiatives aim to realise the mission behind the Year of Giving 2017, which was launched by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and supported by UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who urged people to develop sustainable humanitarian initiatives, within the agreed regulatory framework, that can have a positive impact on various communities in the state.
The Year of Giving includes six main pillars, which are Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Volunteerism, the Growth of Humanitarian Organisations and the Development Sector, the Role of the Media, the Development of a Legislative System, and Serving the Nation.
The initiatives also fall under the umbrella of the UAE National Strategy for the Year of Giving, which constitutes an integrated package of programmes and projects that aim to improve various aspects of humanitarian and charity work in each Emirate in the UAE.
The press conference was attended by Mohammed Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future and the Chairman of the National Committee for the Year of Giving; Sheikh Khalifa Bin Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Director of The Martyrs’ Families’ Affairs Office at the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court; Dr Ahmed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Secretary-General of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi; Abdulla Abdul Rahman Al Shaibani, Secretary-General of the Executive Council of Dubai; Mohamed Hilal, Deputy Chairman of the Year of Giving committee in Sharjah; Saeed Saif Al Matrooshi, Secretary-General of the Executive Council of Ajman; Dr Mohammed Abdul Latif Khalifa, Secretary-General of the Executive Council of Ras al-Khaimah; Humaid Rashed Al Shamsi, Secretary-General of the Executive Council of Umm al-Quwain, and Mohammed Saeed Al Dhanhani, Director of the Emiri Diwan of Fujairah.
It was emphasised that all initiatives are dedicated to the UAE’s fallen heroes; those who sacrificed their lives for their homeland; they are the finest and most genuine givers of goodness, who uphold the status of the UAE and represent the country’s unity, cohesion and solidarity.
Dr. Al Mazrouei, Secretary-General of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi said, “The Abu Dhabi government is keen to contribute actively to the Year of Giving with initiatives that promote and spread humanity throughout the UAE and the world.” He continued, “Humanitarianism has always been a cherished value in the UAE, which has established a philanthropic identity that spreads beyond its borders, and supports those in need, regardless of race, colour or nationality.”
One of the main Year of Giving initiatives from the Abu Dhabi government is titled “Spreading a culture Culture of Volunteerism”. The initiative is an awareness campaign, which seeks to spread the culture of volunteerism throughout the emirate. Educational programmes and awareness campaigns will be launched, with the objective of establishing a culture of volunteering, an essential pillar in overall social development and social cohesion, in the community.
Another initiative is titled “Goodness is in You — Support those in Need”, is the initiative aimed at providing a helping hand to the needy, including to low-income families, workers, students and other social groups, through the provision of services and assistance from various staff members in a selection of institutions in Abu Dhabi.
Another initiative titled “Good is in You - Support the Underprivileged” includes offering of support to helping those who are less prone and reluctant to show that they need help.
“Goodness is in our Children” is an initiative that aims to promote the sense of responsibility, which will inadvertently enhance the sense of belonging, in younger people.
Dubai announced at the press conference a total of 375 initiatives, to be carried out by several entities in the emirates in both the public and private sectors, in order to achieve the desired objectives of the Year of Giving.
The Secretary-General of the Executive Council of Dubai said, “The spirit of philanthropy has always been alive in the UAE; this year, our goal is to strengthen this value in order to contribute to the sustainable development of our nation.”
Some of the initiatives launched under the Year of Giving in Dubai include the “Medical Assistance Programme”, a programme designed to assist patients in need, which includes 49 pharmaceutical programmes, and will be launched in collaboration with private-sector companies, charities and donors.
The programme aims to provide aid, under the advise of the Heath Authority, to patients in need, regardless of their nationalities. The programme aims to provide assistance to 3,000 chronic and critical patients in 2017, with a total contribution in medical aid of up to AED 265 million.
Another initiative from Dubai is titled “Magistrate for Good”, which is an initiative that aims to reconcile families outside of court. The initiative will recreate a domestic environment where couples can discuss their family issues, children can be supported, and families can work towards positive reconciliation.
The “Participating for Good” initiative will address the CSR pillar by creating a CSR Index, a measuring tool to assess CSR by number of participants and financial donations, in harmony with the federal index. The initiative aims to achieve 30% of the index in 2017, and the remaining in 2018.
Sharjah announced 56 new initiatives for the Year of Giving, all of which seek to entrench the value of giving deeper in the culture, and to engage public and private sector institutions and members of the community.
Among the initiatives introduced by Sharjah is the “Old Homes Maintenance”, an initiative that invites volunteers from the public and private sectors to help maintain old homes in the Emirate.
“Dedicating Time” is another initiative, which includes creating a legislation that allows employees to dedicate a specific amount of time toward a cause, and that is considered during employee annual evaluations.
“The Volunteer Forum” will also be introduced, inviting the most prominent local and regional figured to attend and share their humanitarian experiences and knowledge.