By Staff writer
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan launches campaign to promote the culture of volunteering and loyalty to the UAE
UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has declared 2017 as the "Year of Giving" to promote the culture of volunteering and loyalty to one’s country.
The "Year of Giving" will focus on three main pillars - the sense of community responsibility in the private sector, the spirit of volunteering and instilling loyalty and commitment in the next generations to serve their country, news agency WAM reported.
Sheikh Khalifa was quoted as saying that the UAE is known for its philanthropic activities and helping the less fortunate worldwide.
He emphasised that the UAE has made great strides in charitable and philanthropic works and that it is necessary to open people up to the notion of giving back to society.
The announcement comes just two months after the UAE was named the 10th most generous country in the world, according to the CAF World Giving Index.
In the UAE, 75 percent of people said they had helped a stranger while 63 percent said they had donated money and 21 percent claimed to have volunteered their time to a good cause.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai issued directives for a comprehensive framework to set out targets, draft federal and local initiatives as well as coordinate volunteer works and promote a culture of social responsibility, WAM said.
Sheikh Mohammed said the "Year of Giving" will target the private sector in particular, "given the fact that it is an important and major partner in the developmental march of the country".
He added that the "Year of Giving" also sends a message of love, tolerance and hope from the UAE leaders and its generous people to the region and the entire world.
The launch of the "Year of Giving" follows the conclusion of the Year of Reading 2016, which saw more than 1,500 reading initiatives and the issuance of the National Reading Law, the first decree of its kind in the UAE and the wider region.
This is a wonderful and timely initiative! Many people in the private sector have done well out of their time in the UAE, and would welcome a chance to 'give back' to those less fortunate, both here and elsewhere. Charitable sponsorship and events used to be much more common until the regulations around fund-raising were tightened up in 2015. If the 2017 "Year of Giving' means fund-raising and sponsorship becomes easier again, I'm sure there could be a huge outpouring of assistance for the needy.