Reading Time: 4 minutes
Fourteen volunteers from the UAE join Dubai Cares team in a school-building mission in Senegal
New school to accommodate 150 schoolchildren and benefit 300 villagers

Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has completed another successful edition of its Volunteer Globally initiative in Senegal on the west coast of Africa. A group of 14 UAE-based volunteers, led by Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares, conducted a weeklong mission to start building a primary school along with the local community in the village of Keur Moussa Hann in the Thies District of Senegal between October 30th and November 6th. This initiative, which is in line with Dubai Cares’ mandate to eradicate poverty through education in developing countries, will benefit 150 schoolchildren, 2 teachers, 50 illiterate men and women as well as 300 volunteers from the village.

Volunteer Globally 2016 brought together a diverse group of people who devoted their time and energy towards improving the life of school children in Senegal. The school worksite activities included digging trenches, laying bricks, tying and reinforcing steel bars as well as mixing concrete, picking, sifting and pumping water. These activities were combined with cultural education workshops to better interact with the local community.

Commenting on this year’s edition of Volunteer Globally in Senegal, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares said, “Volunteer Globally is an extremely popular experience amongst members of the UAE community. It is incredibly rewarding for all those who take part in this demonstration of genuine enthusiasm towards social work. It gives UAE residents a unique chance to get an insight on some of Dubai Cares’ programs in developing countries and to make a positive impact on the lives of children that will last many decades.”

Commenting on Dubai Cares’ Volunteer Globally, H.E. Mohammed Salem Al Rashid, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Senegal said: “The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates to Senegal plays a role in highlighting and promoting humanitarian and volunteering initiatives on the official and community level within the country. The UAE is keen to always be present to support such great initiatives in different parts of the world. In this regard, I would like to pay tribute to the leading role that Dubai Cares plays in providing children access to quality education in developing countries, especially in remote areas. The UAE embassy would also like to thank all the volunteers who travelled from the UAE and devoted their time and energy in support of this noble humanitarian mission.”

Dubai Cares’ implementing partners in Senegal, BuildOn, co-managed this year’s Volunteer Globally initiative in Senegal, and monitored the safety and quality of the construction process. The volunteering group was also supported by a construction team from the local community.

Rosann Jager, Chief Program Officer, BuildOn said: “buildOn is honoured to partner with Dubai Cares to improve primary school education in Senegal. Through our longstanding partnership, Dubai Cares and buildOn have helped build more than 45 primary schools in rural villages in Senegal, Malawi, and Nepal, providing improved access to quality education for more than 6,000 primary school boys and girls. Dubai Cares’ Volunteer Globally initiative sets the standard for responsible volunteering for UAE citizens and residents, and buildOn is proud of the impact we are making together in solidarity with Senegalese villages.”

During the school construction process Khalid Alameri, an Emirati volunteer who joined Dubai Cares delegation in Senegal said, “Volunteer Globally is a great representation of the UAE’s values and what it truly means to be an Emarti. What is important as a country is not only to progress but to share and implement that progress throughout the world. These are the values that were instilled in the people of the UAE by the late Sheikh Zayed and our forefathers, values which continue to be at the forefront of our leadership’s policies today. I am proud and honored to be here with Dubai Cares and cannot wait for my children and their generation to witness this achievement and continue to follow that example.”

Ruby Ann Frani from the Philippines said, “For me, Dubai Cares’ Volunteer Globally acts as a heartfelt reminder to the real value of life and the significance in acts of selflessness. It is the best platform to give a fraction of my time and my heart to help others. The impact of this initiative would be monumental on the local community in Senegal as together with the team we are contributing to providing them the gift of education.”

“Volunteer Globally 2016 has been a life-changing experience for everyone who participated,” concludes Al Gurg, “giving them a precious insight into the lives of real communities in developing countries. No doubt the volunteers will be motivated to inspire others to take part in similar initiatives in the future, so that more selfless people can make a positive difference in the lives of others.”

Rana Awad, Marketing Manager at Dubai Cares said, “We were overwhelmed by the response and turnout to our Volunteer Globally initiative in Senegal this year. The 14 selected volunteers expressed a genuine interest to participate in the construction of a school for children in need in Senegal. It is incredibly inspiring to see people take the time out of their busy days and work schedules, and come together for such a noble cause. We look forward to seeing even more people from the UAE participating in upcoming Dubai Cares’ volunteering initiatives.”

In 2014, a group of 16 volunteers from the UAE initiated a weeklong mission to construct a primary school in the village of Barkamuda in Nepal. The school benefited 150 children and 1,000 officials and teachers in the village. Dubai Cares’ Volunteer Globally was launched in 2009, in line with Dubai Cares aim of engaging UAE residents by offering them the opportunity to give back. Dubai Cares is constantly looking for volunteers of 21 years and above, who are UAE residents, enthusiastic about social work and physically capable to perform construction work and adapt to the working conditions and life routine in the village.

– Dubai Cares Media