Founded in 2007 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, Dubai Cares works towards providing children with access to education
22 January 2018| Last updated on 30 January 2018
Ahead of the 2018 edition of the Dubai Cares Walk For Education, we had the chance to speak to the wonderful team behind the nonprofit organisation, who's vision is to break the cycle of poverty by ensuring all children have access to quality education in developing countries.
The Walk for Education event, happening on Friday 16th February, 2018, is a great opportunity for Dubai's community to band together in support of their mission - and to help raise awareness and support towards giving children and young adults the access to education they deserve.
Before you sign-up to join in this year's annual Dubai Cares Walk for Education, find out a little more about Dubai Cares...
1. When was Dubai Cares founded, and what was the inspiration to start the charity?
Dubai Cares was founded on September 19, 2007 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, as one of his Global Initiatives.
The inception of the organisation was fuelled by his belief in education as more than just a human right, but an irrevocable asset that can contribute to a better world.
2. Tell us about Dubai Cares, and what you do.
Dubai Cares has been working towards providing children and young people in developing countries with access to quality education through the design and funding of programs that aim to be integrated, impactful, sustainable and scalable.
Dubai Cares also funds research-oriented programs and establishes pilot initiatives that provide meaningful and valuable evidence for governments, policymakers, and civil society, to support them in defining an educational framework for the future. As a result of numerous generous donors, partners and volunteers, our education programs have reached over 18 million beneficiaries in 53 developing countries.
By learning from the experimental elements of our programs, we have been able contribute to discourses within the education sector, and engage in evidence-based advocacy.
3. You are already involved in 53 developing countries. What are your plans for the future?
With more than 18 million beneficiaries in 53 developing countries so far, we can only endeavor to create a higher impact on even larger numbers of children and young people with limited or no access to education. Dubai Cares has been a global vocal advocate of access to education by providing infrastructure, school feeding, deworming and WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) in schools.
Dubai Cares also champions quality education by focusing on literacy & numeracy skills, Early Childhood Education (ECE), inclusive education, curriculum development, teacher training, technical and vocational education training as well as publishing and distributing books. Moreover, Dubai Cares continues to advocate for the importance of education in countries affected by emergencies and protracted crisis.
By providing access to education and quality education, Dubai Cares aims to improve children’s health and learning environment, increase enrollment and retention in schools, reduce absenteeism, ensure gender parity, provide teacher training and enhance learning outcomes among children. Dubai Cares also continued its effort to leverage funds through catalytic financing and co-funded interventions to maximize its reach and impact.
For our future plans, we aim to continue strengthening our global and local initiatives, and support programs that focus on Early Childhood Development (ECD), secondary education, youth empowerment, vocational training, skills development, job creation and entrepreneurship.
4. How can people become involved with Dubai Cares?
In the UAE, Dubai Cares engages UAE residents through a series of volunteer, awareness and fundraising initiatives that are linked to its global mandate. These initiatives include the annual Walk for Education, Volunteer Emirates, Volunteer Globally and the Ramadan Campaign.
5. Are there outreach programs available where people can volunteer in other countries?
Yes of course, Dubai Cares Volunteer Globally initiative offers members of the UAE community a rare chance to join the Dubai Cares team in a developing country to construct a school.
In 2017, UAE volunteers travelled with us to Nepal, where they committed their time and effort with us to help build schools, engage with children and local community etc.
6. What are the most needed items that people can donate to Dubai Cares and where can they make these donations?
Actually Dubai Cares does not collect items as donation from the public; however we do accept in-kind donations such as points or miles from loyalty program schemes, coupons & vouchers, services, media and online space etc, in addition to online monetary donation through a cheque, telegraphic transfer, Dubai Cares website or through our donation boxes spread across Dubai.
7. The 2018 Walk For Education is coming up soon. Tell us more about the event? What is it, and why are you hosting it?
One of our most impactful activities in the UAE is the annual Dubai Cares Walk For Education, where the UAE community comes together to walk in solidarity with millions of children around the world who have limited or no access to education.
The 3 km walk along Riyadh Road in Dubai is an opportunity for residents to reflect upon the benefits of extending a helping hand and making a difference in children and young people’s life.
This year's initiative, which is in support of the 'Year of Zayed 2018', will take place in the morning on Friday February 16, 2018 at Dubai Creek Park (next to Al Garhoud Bridge). It will be followed by entertainment activities for all.
8. What can participants expect from the event?
Participants who join us in the Dubai Cares Walk For Education will definitely feel a sense of community and unity of purpose. The walk is a wonderful opportunity for members of the UAE community to raise awareness for the educational cause, enjoy fun activities with family and friends and make a difference.
9. How much is the entrance fee and where can people register?
Anyone can register on the Dubai Cares website, at our office or on the day of the Walk.
Tickets are sold for AED 30 which constitutes a donation for Dubai Cares. The entrance for children under 5 is free.
10. Are there any other events to look forward to this year?
As 2018 is the Year of Zayed, we are looking forward to celebrating in all our activities, all the qualities of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nayhan and residents of the UAE alike that have made the UAE what it is today. In line with this theme, the Dubai Cares Scavenger Hunt campaign is the first community engagement initiative of 2018 and will run until the 29th January 2018 across the city of Dubai.
The Scavenger Hunt initiative aims to celebrate the life and legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed as well as reaffirms principles, values and beliefs that are the country’s foundation.
The 9th edition of Walk For Education is next in line, in addition to Volunteer Emirates and Volunteer Globally. Volunteer Emirates initiative aims at supporting non-profit schools and centres in the UAE, where volunteers from across the UAE come together to dedicate their time and effort to enrich the school’s learning environment by assembling and installing equipment and school/centre furniture, as well as improving the learning conditions for students.
11. What advice would you give to parents to help make their children more aware of people in need and becoming involved in their community?
We at Dubai Cares strongly believe the solutions to lack of education in the world can be accomplished only if we work together as a community.
Parents need to educate their children to believe that their actions are not futile and that they have the potential to contribute a great deal to a collective force that is changing another child’s life across the globe for the better.
We believe once a child feels a sense of power to do something good, nothing can stop them and they will find no greater sense of fulfilment than working together in groups for a common goal.