The Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares Tariq Al Gurg said that Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has adopted a new approach towards charity and humanitarian work in which resources are focused on vital areas that can help improve the lives of millions of people around the world. He said that education is one of the key areas where humanitarian work can help improve the lives of millions of children and youth, thereby breaking the cycle of poverty around the world.
Al Gurg said that Dubai Cares, which is part of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has been working since its inception in 2007 to provide children and young people in developing countries with access to quality education by designing and funding programmes that are integrated, impactful, sustainable and scalable. As a result, the UAE-based global philanthropic organisation has successfully launched education programmes that have benefited over 18 million people in 57 developing countries.
Tariq Al Gurg was speaking at a 'Meet the CEO' event organised by the Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO) today. 'Meet the CEO' is a regular series of press events organised by GDMO for leaders of prominent Dubai organisations. Both local and international media attended the event.
The CEO of Dubai Cares underlined the commitment of the UAE towards helping achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, which aims to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning by 2030 by supporting programmes focused on early childhood development, access to quality primary and secondary education, girls’ education, technical and vocational education and training for youth, education in emergencies and protracted crises as well as education for children with special needs. 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.
Tariq Al Gurg also said that Dubai Cares plans to organise a Global Education Summit, the first of its kind both in the region and the world, in partnership with Expo 2020 Dubai, and with the participation of UN aid agencies, civil society and international organisations focused on education, as well as participating countries and non-official participants in Expo 2020 Dubai. The Summit will focus on raising awareness around the importance of education and creating a global momentum for education thereby launching the 10-year countdown to meeting Sustainable Development Goal 4, which focuses on ensuring inclusive quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all.
The Summit, which is set to take place in the first quarter of 2021, will cover three main topics including youth and skills, education financing, and innovation in education.
Al Gurg also said that Dubai Cares will have its own pavilion at Expo 2020, to provide opportunities for visitors to understand and experience the challenges children and young people face every day in their pursuit of education, learn about solutions through the work of Dubai Cares and its partners, and come up with solutions of their own to combat these challenges.
He also said that as part of its renewed commitment to global education efforts, Dubai Cares announced a new strategic partnership on the sidelines of the 73rd UN General Assembly in New York in 2018 by endorsing UNICEF’s ‘Generation Unlimited’ initiative, a new global partnership dedicated to increasing opportunities for and investments in young people.
During the session, Al Gurg said that Dubai Cares will launch a new education programme in the Sub-Saharan African region in partnership with “Co-impact”, following Dubai Cares’ successful conclusion of its education programme in India, launched in 2013 in partnership with Pratham. The programme is focused on enhancing literacy and numeracy skills, as well as Early Childhood Education (ECE) services.
The CEO of Dubai Cares further said that the new programme will be implemented in eight Sub-Saharan African countries, whereby Dubai Cares will allocate AED7.3 million to finance research programmes related to education, and target 3 million kids over a period of three years. The programme that is set to cost AED158 million will be financed by various entities.
On the topic of Dubai Cares’ successful programme in India, Al Gurg also shared news of him being awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.) Degree from Mangalayatan University in Aligarh, India for his contribution to global education and his outstanding leadership and tireless efforts in addressing and raising awareness about issues of philanthropy.
Despite the growing number of children caught in conflicts and natural disasters, statistics show only 2% of overall humanitarian aid is spent on education. Al Gurg said that this makes the needs of children living in fragile states an urgent priority for Dubai Cares. He also said that Dubai Cares was selected as a member of the Steering Committee of the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE). As a Steering Committee member, Dubai Cares is able to influence the strategic direction of one of the most important conveners of knowledge and resources in the education in emergencies sector.
He also said that Dubai Cares believes that education is instrumental in transforming the lives of vulnerable children and young people in developing communities around the world. By learning from the experimental elements of its programs, Dubai Cares has been able to contribute to knowledge generation within the education sector, and engage in evidence-based advocacy. The organisation has been a vocal global advocate of quality early childhood education, gender equality in education, school health and nutrition as well as education in emergencies.