In an effort to provide basic educational tools to children affected by the conflict in Gaza, UAE-based organization Dubai Cares assembled over 50,000 school kits for children in Gaza, Palestine.

The summer of 2014 proved to be devastating for many in Palestine and around the world. An increase in militarized conflict claimed the lives of over 2,000 people and it is estimated that at least 100,000 homes were destroyed. With such damage occurring, citizens are fleeing the country and those who cannot leave, face insurmountable obstacles.

This worrisome conflict has caused a number of responses from around the globe, but the one that has proved the most important is from the international aid community. A number of organizations have stepped up to help create positive change and provide necessary aid to communities in Gaza, especially the children. The persistent violence and wreckage of regional infrastructure has made attending school a challenge for many children.

To help rebuild the educational system in Gaza, Dubai Cares assembled a team of volunteers to create school kits that would be distributed to children, in conjunction with United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, or UNRWA. The kits include a backpack, notebooks, sketchbooks, a geometry kit, a calculator and a pencil case equipped with pens, pencils, crayons, erasers, etc.

Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares, Tariq Al Gurg said, “This was a memorable campaign for us as we had the chance to extend further support to the children of Gaza by sending them the school kits that the UAE community put together for them. Despite the fact that these children live under hazardous conditions, the people of the UAE strongly felt that they deserve the same educational opportunities as their peers in other parts of the world.”

This campaign was launched as a part of Dubai Cares’ ‘Rebuild Palestine. Start with Education.’ Initiative, launched in October of 2014. This initiative, at a total of approximately $3 million, was created in an effort to rebuild Palestine’s educational sector by implementing programs that focused on providing children with psycho-social support, coping mechanisms and heightened educational security so that they are well equipped when the region gains stability.

Al Gurg said, “Palestinian children need the security of education in order to grow their skill set and rise above the challenges they face today.”

Dubai Cares continues to place an emphasis on rehabilitating the children of Gaza so that they have the chance to take an active part in their own futures. As these children continue to face the day to day challenges of living in a conflict zone, perhaps it is with hope that they view these kits; a gesture of goodwill from the people of a country not so far away.

– Candice Hughes

Sources: Dubai Cares 1, Dubai Cares 2, Dubai Cares 3, The National, Yahoo News
Photo: Flickr

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Dubai Cares, a nonprofit working to improve children’s access to education in developing countries, recently launched a new campaign called “End Poverty. Educate Now” to raise awareness about the link between education and eradicating poverty.

The “End Poverty. Educate Now” campaign will run through the Islamic holy month of Ramadan to raise funds to assist children worldwide by improving their access to primary education. Dubai Cares is currently reaching more than 8 million children in 31 developing countries worldwide. The campaign is building and renovating classrooms, providing clean water wells and latrines, distributing nutritious meals, and providing treatment for intestinal worms. Additionally, teachers are receiving training and millions of books are being distributed.

CEO of Dubai Cares, Tariq Al Gurg, stresses that education is one of the most important investments in breaking the cycle of poverty. Education leads to in increases in income levels and reductions in social inequalities caused by poverty.

Gurg states that this campaign seeks the support of the United Arab Emirates community in order to reduce the number of underprivileged children globally who do not have access to education, which is currently estimated to be 57 million according to UNESCO. UNESCO affirms that education is one of the best tools to combat poverty by stating that if all children in developing countries could read, global poverty rates would fall by at least 12 percent.

Dubai Cares is running this campaign by setting up an interactive stand at the Dubai Mall’s Star Atrium. The campaign is also raising funds through donations via SMS and the Internet. Visitors of the Dubai Mall will be able to make contributions while shopping or through donations boxes throughout the mall. In the atrium, there are black and white posters on tiles which show children living in destitute conditions. These images will gradually transform into a positive colored images as more people donate. These colored images represents the lives of children who are receiving the opportunity for an education.

This symbolic transformation represents the dramatic change that education can make in the lives of children and the fight against poverty.

– Rahul Shah 

Sources: The Gulf Today, Emirates Today, Gulf News
Sources: Sunny Varkey