- Thirteen UAE-based volunteers join school-building mission in Senegal
United Arab Emirates, Dubai, 17 September 2018: 60 Senegalese school children welcomed the promise of a new school in their community which is in the process of being constructed in the local community in Tasset Peulh village in Senegal, under the umbrella of Dubai Cares' Volunteer Globally initiative. Upon completion, the primary school premises will benefit 60 school children, 60 illiterate adults and 300 villagers. Earlier this week, thirteen UAE-based volunteers, who represented 9 nationalities, travelled to Senegal to set the foundation for the educational centerpiece of the community by donating their time and energy for a great cause.
It is estimated that approximately 38% of Senegal's Out-Of-School-Children (OOSC) are between the ages of 7 and 14 years. The-out-of-school children rates for children from rural areas (49%) are higher than those for children in urban areas (21%) reiterating the urgency and importance of the school premises for the Tasset Peulh village in Thies region in western Senegal.
Dubai Cares' Volunteer Globally initiative underpins the organizations' mandate to eradicate poverty through education in developing countries. This community engagement initiative, which was launched in 2009, has attracted overwhelming interest from members of the UAE community, who are committed to devoting their time and energy towards improving the lives of underprivileged children and young people.
In Senegal, the volunteers participated in the construction work by assisting in tasks that included digging, lifting, pumping water, mixing concrete, reinforcing steel bars, and making and laying bricks. They also had plenty of opportunities to participate in cultural education workshops to help them interact directly with the local families and assimilate themselves within the local community for a complete enriching experience.
“Each year, we are amazed by the response from the people in the UAE towards our Volunteer Globally initiative. We are incredibly proud of the spirit of volunteerism that runs deep within our community, its people and residents. It is extremely rewarding to join the volunteers each year, as we take on the responsibility of helping realize the vision of Dubai Cares. Volunteer Globally allows community members from the UAE to experience first-hand the Dubai Cares' work and the organization's programs in developing countries and to also make a lifelong positive impact on the lives of others,” said Abdulla Ahmed Al Shehhi, Chief Operating Officer, Dubai Cares.
Jennifer Hardie, a Canadian volunteer who joined Dubai Cares' delegation in Senegal described her experience as humbling and unforgettable. “This year I have been very keen on joining the country in celebrating the spirit of the Year of Zayed, and I found Dubai Cares' Volunteer Globally to embody all of the later founder's values. The experience of working hand-in-hand with a local community in Senegal is a memory I will always cherish, especially after I have seen how important this school is to them.”
Yousuf El Abbasy from Egypt said: “Dubai Cares' Volunteer Globally is an excellent platform for UAE-based individuals to engage in volunteering activities. It is an ideal window to realize the tremendous work that is being done by Dubai Cares in developing countries and the impact of its work. I feel truly privileged to have been selected for this year's edition and to have been given an opportunity to dedicate a tiny part of my life towards bringing real value into the lives of this Senegalese community, and to work together with a diverse team from the UAE.”
This year's volunteers come from diverse backgrounds and industries. Prior to the mission, they underwent a comprehensive briefing and sensitization program that introduced them to Senegal and the realities on the ground such as the socio-economic background of the communities they would interact with and an overview of the activities they would participate in as part of the school-building mission.
Dubai cares' Volunteer Globally was previously in Senegal in 2016, when a group of 14 volunteers from the UAE initiated a weeklong mission to construct a primary school in the village of Keur Moussa Hann in Senegal. The school is currently benefitting 150 children, 2 teachers and 300 community members. More recently, in 2017, 15 volunteers took part in a school-building mission in Phuleli village in Nepal, to build a school for 150 schoolchildren and 60 illiterate women within the community.