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Sat 20 Jun 2015 04:01 PM

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Sheikh Mohammed launches orphan initiative

Emiratis are being encouraged to connect with children who do not have parents, particularly during Ramadan

Sheikh Mohammed launches orphan initiative
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai. (AFP/Getty Images)

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has launched an initiative to help orphans as part of the country’s annual program of giving during Ramadan.

"The UAE Initiative for Connection with Orphans and Minors" invites Emiratis to support children without families.

Young Emiratis are asked to provide guidance and good advice, take care of orphaned and minor students for a certain number of class hours, and set up common interest groups to engage orphans and minors in activities like swimming and biking.

Families wishing to take part in the initiative can either regularly host an orphan or a minor for half a day to provide them with a friendly family atmosphere, meet with other families and host regular gatherings orphans or minors at public places, or parents also can volunteer to be guardians of orphans and minors in relation to their education.

Elderly people can also contribute to the initiative either through connecting with orphans and minors at senior care homes or acting as grandfathers.

"Our Emirati society is a global model of compassion and cohesion between all segments. This outstanding trait stems from our commitment to the tolerance of Islam which exhorts us to show mutual compassion and cling to our national and Arab traditions,” Sheikh Mohammed said in a statement carried by state news agency WAM.

“We want all members of the Emirati society to be part of the ongoing process of building the country. That is why we are always keen to extend support to all segments including orphans and minors.

"Our support today will not be individual. Rather, it will be teamwork in which the Emirati society as a whole is involved in the process based on its love for philanthropy.

“The Holy Month of Ramadan is an opportunity for all of us to contribute a small part of our time to cater to the needs of orphans and minors and boost their role as an effective segment in our progress. I am confident that the people of UAE will work as one team to build a global model in caring for orphans and minors."

The initiative also includes a virtual academy to encourage self-development of orphans and minors, and programmes aimed at encouraging them to connect with government workplaces as part of their quest for future careers, and fostering their competitiveness and talents by introducing them to national awards, and to nurture their knowledge and innovation.

The academy will work on documenting research and experiences to present a global model of caring for orphans and minors.

Bethrand 4 years ago

THE GREAT UAE has every indication to be termed a global model of compassion and generosity. Their love for mankind esp. the poor and the needy, and their concern to the earth despite their oil richness..., sustainability and renewability is a focus to their leaders. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum is a visionary leader to emulate. Kudos!