Dubai Holding, a Dubai-based global company committed to the Emirate’s socio-economic growth, today announced the completion of two new schools, one in Nepal and one in Senegal, which are currently in operation and enrolling over 550 local children. This initiative was completed in partnership with Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, which aims to improve children’s access to quality education in underprivileged communities around the world.
Located in the villages of Dhakka in Nepal and Kaffrine 2 Sud in Senegal, the schools provide a fully equipped three-classroom space for children of ages between 6 and 14. More than 400 boys and girls are enrolled in the Dhakka school and more than 100 are enrolled in the Kaffrine 2 Sud school, with nearly 20 teachers in total responsible for primary school classes.
As sponsor of the schools, Dubai Holding’s donation provided the engineering and building materials and skilled labour force to work on the land provided by the villages, supervising each of the various tasks involved from start to completion.
With the aim to help improve the low literacy rates in Nepal and Senegal, especially in rural communities like Dhakka and Kaffrine 2 Sud, these villages were asked to sign a pledge promising to send girls and boys to school in equal numbers. According to the latest statistics by CIA’s World Factbook, the national adult literacy rate in Nepal is just over 50%, and in Senegal only 62% of men and 39% of women can read and write.
This significant educational investment was therefore designed to benefit the whole community, with involvement from parents as well as other members of society. The parents in particular had a notable role in the building of these schools for their children, contributing a combined 2,000 volunteer workdays.
With the support received from Dubai Holding, the program will continue to work with the Dhakka and Kaffrine 2 Sud communities to identify out-of-school children and drive enrolment at these schools, whilst collaborating with the local Ministry of Education on expansion of facilities and educational resources to cater to the increasing number of students.
Amit Kaushal, CEO of Dubai Holding, said: “We are delighted to have delivered on our first long-term international commitment impacting not just individuals but also their families and their entire community. What makes this initiative in Nepal and Senegal extremely special for Dubai Holding is that we are helping to ensure the basic human right to education, one of the most effective tools to break the cycle of poverty. Our schools help both countries increase literacy rates one community at a time.”
Kaushal added: “Our partnership with Dubai Cares is allowing us to make this powerful impact on communities well beyond the UAE, and we would like to thank them for their support and collaboration. Driving forward Dubai’s socio-economic agenda remains core to our business, and we are very proud to be supporting the humanitarian efforts of our Leadership that transcend borders. As an organisation we are deeply committed to enhancing the quality of life for people, and in this instance we are doing so by empowering local people and helping them to fight ignorance for a sustainable and prosperous future.”
Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares, said: “We are proud to work closely with Dubai Holding to pave the way for children and young people to have access to quality education. The building of two new schools represents a new chapter in the lives of many children and opens a door of hope for them to prosper in the future. The generosity of long-standing donors like Dubai Holding, emphasizes a genuine commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility and a firm belief in the transformative power of education.”
As part of its partnership with Dubai Cares, Dubai Holding had also previously sponsored one edition of Dubai Cares’ Volunteer Emirates initiative, which brought together more than 100 volunteers to renovate a non-profit school in Ajman. As part of the initiative, Dubai Holding assisted in drawing educational murals, landscaping the school’s entrance, furbishing the facility, as well installing equipment that allows for an enhanced learning environment.
Over the years Dubai Holding has built a strong track record in CSR and community and workplace wellness in Dubai and the region. Recent and ongoing key community efforts include ‘Masaai Al Khair’, an AED 10 million community development initiative in partnership with the Ministry of Community Development, and Ramadan Drive, the month-long initiative that benefitted over 125,000 less fortunate people across communities in Dubai.