18 June 2017, Dubai, United Arab Emirates: The Youth Circles Forum, held under the title 'Youth and Volunteering' on Tuesday night, witnessed the launch of the Meet My Hero Campaign, which was born out of the close cooperation between the Emirates Youth Council and the Moral Education Committee. The forum focused on highlighting the most important topics associated with volunteering, in parallel to the launch by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, of the Year of Giving in 2017.
The Meet My Hero Campaign aims to shed light on specific genuine and humanitarian Emirati and Arab values and showcase the importance of these values to society, especially where the youth are concerned. The campaign achieves this by highlighting the roles played by some to promote and spread these principles, in a manner that leaves a positive impact on society.
The campaign, which is comprised of five video clips, aims to instill the values of volunteering, perseverance, courage and other standards of good behavior in members of society, while seeking to enhance the spirit of competitiveness among them, reflecting the honorable, civilized character and noble values of the Emirati youth.
Meet My Hero campaign seeks to highlight the role played by selected influential figures in the UAE and the values they represent, such as volunteering, giving back to the community and perseverance, by shedding light on five personalities in the same field. Through the Youth Circles, the first video was showcased, featuring Dr. Aysha Al Memari, the first Emirati woman to specialize in emergency medicine, while talking about her career and giving back to the community.
Dr. Aysha Musabah Al Memari, Consultant Emergency Medicine and Intensive Care, Head of Emergency Unit, Mafraq Hospital, spoke about the importance of volunteering. She also reflected on her own volunteering experience through her specialization in the field of emergency medicine, including her participation in “Operation Restoring Hope” in Yemen.
During the workshop, several topics were discussed, such as the challenges facing the volunteering field within the UAE and how these can be improved and the key skills that volunteers need to possess and can develop through volunteering.
Commenting on the forum, Dr. Aysha Al Memari said: 'The UAE enjoys a long-standing record of achievements in the realm of humanitarian service and volunteering is considered a cornerstone of the nation's efforts to support those in need.”
Dr. Al Memari thanked the Emirates Youth Council for organizing the Youth Circles initiative, which aims to serve as a platform to engage with Emirati youth on topics that are of importance to them, including encouraging them to participate in identifying solutions to the obstacles to volunteering.
Dr. Karima Matar Al Mazrouei, Executive Director of the School Education Sector at ADEC and a member of the Moral Education Committee, said that the announcement by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, to launch the Year of Giving in 2017, has established the importance of volunteering as a crucial component of communities and a significant influencer in community development as well as its role in promoting cohesion among members of society.
Mohammed Al Hosani, Director of Leadership and Empowerment at Emirates Foundation said 'The Youth Circles forum provides a platform to present best practices, discuss topics that matter to young people and reflect their ambitions and helps to produce creative solutions and ideas to tackle the challenges they face, especially as young people represent the future,' said.
The Youth Circle was moderated by television presenter Saoud Al Kaabi, where the focus was introducing the first value of volunteering. The topics and questions that were explored during the Youth Circles discussion included:
- Challenges facing volunteering in the UAE and what can be done better
- how can organizations and schools encourage more volunteering of employees and students
- alues and skills that volunteering enhances and develops
The event was concluded with a set of suggested solutions and future initiatives in the area of volunteering.
At the end of the forum, Al Kaabi highlighted that the most significant outcome of the event was the launch of the Meet My Hero Campaign through cooperation between the Emirates Youth Council and the Moral Education Committee to promote and spread key values among the wider UAE community. Values such as honesty, tolerance, perseverance and community service are at the core of the campaign and the Moral curriculum. He also invited the public to participate in the campaign by sharing a video showcasing their hero using the campaign hashtag #MeetMyHero
The UAE Youth Circle is an initiative that was launched by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, to inspire youth-centric dialogue across a range of areas, with the aim of shaping innovative solutions to relevant challenges. The initiative is governed by the Emirates Youth Council.
The Moral Education Committee comprises the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court, the Abu Dhabi Education Council, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority and the Ministry of Education. The committee is responsible for the launch of the Moral Education Program at all public and private UAE schools, starting September 2017.
The Moral Education Program is considered the first of its kind in the Middle East region. The program links the UAE's deep-rooted culture, heritage and rich history with the country's modern values, openness and tolerance to various cultures. The importance of the program, which will be launched at all public and private schools, lies in the fact that the curriculum is progressive and is built on interactive teaching methods that extend beyond the confines of the classroom. This is expected to make a significant positive impact on the lives of students and will help in achieving the desired goals of the program.