Sunday, November 25, 2007

HH Sheikh Mohammed Doubles Dubai Cares Donations to AED 3.4 billion

- His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, today pledged a personal contribution of AED1.7 billion, equivalent to the funds raised by Dubai Cares, bringing its total to AED3.4 billion (about US$1 billion).

H.H Sheikh Mohammed urged the United Nations to follow Dubai's model of charity work in its aim to achieve its Millennium Development Goals of providing universal primary education by 2015.

At a ceremony organized today at the Madinat Jumeirah to mark the successful conclusion of the charity drive, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed addressed campaign organizers and volunteers, students, business people and members of various cultural and religious communities.

Highlighting the phenomenal success of the 8-week Dubai Cares campaign, he acknowledged the remarkable spirit of compassion displayed by individuals, communities, government departments and corporations in Dubai.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed said the success of Dubai Cares underlines the priority that each contributor places on education as an essential prerequisite to help people become self-reliant and empower them to help themselves, their families and communities.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed said this humanitarian achievement reflects the depth of our spirit of giving and demonstrates the genuine desire of donors to help their brothers and sisters, regardless of religion, colour or creed.

“It is now our priority to ensure these funds are allocated in an efficient and appropriate manner. I have directed officials to manage the money and channel our contributions to educate millions of children around the world.”

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed added: “This achievement also illustrates that a large number of companies and business people in Dubai are highly conscious of their social responsibility, and are constantly looking for ways to give back to the society that has given them the success they now enjoy.”

Sharing the outstanding gesture of a young Emarati couple, Yousuf Yaqoub and his bride, who donated their wedding party expenses of AED150, 000 to the Dubai Cares initiative, HH Sheikh Mohammed said: “This couple has made me feel proud and I am confident their values represent the spirit of a large number of the Emarati youth.”

Applauding the overwhelming spirit of communal bonding, he pointed out: “One of the most important results of the campaign is the revival, in Dubai, of the spirit of voluntary work. More specifically, the campaign torch has been carried forward on the enthusiastic shoulders of thousands of girls, boys and students who volunteered their time and effort to make Dubai Cares a success.”

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed announced he has directed Dubai Cares officials to prioritise voluntary work as the primary agenda of next year’s campaign. He said: “We now need to put in place a mechanism for volunteers. We need to create an organized body to focus on projects that can generate sustainable resources to create a positive impact on the ground.”

Based on a long-term strategy of investing in community-based, education programmes, Dubai Cares will use the donations to build and renovate schools, train teachers, provide teaching materials, sport and recreation equipment, offer scholarships, organize school feeding programmers and encourage physical education in some of the poorest countries in the world

The Dubai Cares campaign was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed to channel Dubai’s philanthropic efforts towards education in poor countries around the world. The campaign is Dubai’s contribution to a global drive to help countries achieve their U.N. Millennium Development Goals of providing primary education to every child by 2015. It is founded on the belief that education is the best long-term solution to poverty and an effective engine for national development.

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