More than 700 people from the UAE, Syria and Jordan have volunteered for the Reading Nation campaign, launched on Sunday by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to provide five million books for refugee and other underprivileged children in Muslim countries.
The volunteers are working at shopping centres to raise awareness about the campaign and help people in making their donation.
Later, they prepare donated books for shipping to targeted children.
The volunteers also work for initiatives of Dubai Cares, a philanthropic organisation working to improve children's access to quality primary education in developing countries.
Tareq Al Gurg, CEO of Dubai Cares, said the Reading Nation Campaign reiterates the UAE's humanitarian approach. The volunteers, he noted, want to serve humanitarian causes regardless of faith, race or nationality of targeted people.
‘Reading Nation’ receives Dh10m on Day 1
One day after His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the ‘Reading Nation’ Ramadan campaign to provide five million books to children in refugee camps and underprivileged school students across the world, the total number of donations collected from businessmen and local entities and organizations amounted to Dh10 million.
This includes Dh3 million from Etisalat, Dh3 million from du, Dh1 million from Kanoo Group, Dh1 million from Al Ansari Exchange, Dh300,000 from the heirs of Obaid Mohammed Al Helou and Dh1.9 million donations were collected through SMS messaging.
This rapid response to the campaign from Emiratis and local entities reflects the UAE’s commitment to humanitarian and development goals and its keenness in contributing to make a difference in the lives of millions of children in the Arab and Islamic worlds. The campaign also validates the UAE’s national priority of leveraging knowledge as a tool to achieve progress, and make books a companion for ambitious future generations.
The ‘Reading Nation’ campaign offers three corporate donation bundles.
The Silver Bundle enables donations ranging from Dh1 million to Dh3 million to provide between 100,000 to 300,000 books. The Golden Bundle enables corporations to donate Dh3 million to Dh4 million, providing between 300,000 and 400,000 books. Finally, the Platinum Bundle facilitates corporate donations above Dh5 million to provide 500,000 books and more. Corporate donations start from Dh500,000 and can reach up to Dh10 million.
The campaign is a continuation of the UAE’s annual humanitarian agenda that is implemented during the Holy Month of Ramadan. Previous initiatives have succeeded in achieving their development goals by offering food and water to millions of underprivileged people across the globe. The campaign will continue until the 19th day of Ramadan that coincides with the Zayed Humanitarian Day.
The ‘Reading Nation’ campaign aims to provide five million books for children in refugee camps and underprivileged school students across the world. It will distribute two million books to children and students in refugee camps, in addition to providing 2,000 libraries in the Muslim world with two million books, and supporting educational programs of Emirati humanitarian organizations working abroad through the provision of one million books.
The campaign is managed by a committee that is headed by Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Secretary General of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives and UAE Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future. The committee comprises a number of government entities, media organizations, and national and humanitarian organizations across the UAE, including representatives from the Emirates Red Crescent, Dubai Cares, Du Telecommunications, Etisalat, Abu Dhabi Media, Dubai Media Incorporated, Arab Media Group, national Arabic and English newspapers and publications, and International Humanitarian City.
Etisalat and Du Telecommunications will dedicate toll-free numbers through which individuals can make donations to the campaign throughout Ramadan, with each book costing Dh10.
The Emirates Red Crescent and Dubai Cares will also receive donations through their bank accounts, branch locations, and donation kiosks across the country.
In addition, the UAE Ministry of Education will organize events and activities throughout the campaign period to encourage students to donate books, that will be sent to children and students in refugee camps.
In support of the campaign, Abu Dhabi Media, Dubai Media Incorporated, Arab Media Group, and major national newspapers and publications, in Arabic and English, will come together to provide extensive coverage of events and activities linked to the campaign.
Dedicated platforms and kiosks will be set up in shopping malls to enable members of the public to make cash donations and also write personal messages to children in refugee camps and other underprivileged students in beneficiary countries.
Du donates Dh3 million for 300,000 books
As part of the Ramadan ‘Reading Nation’ campaign, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, du today announced that it will contribute with Dh3 million to provide 300,000 books to refugee camps and schools around the world.
As part of its commitment to support the campaign, du will also be sending text messages (SMS) to raise awareness among its subscribers, encouraging them to be part of this vital initiative. Around 25 million SMS messages have been allocated to support the campaign.
Discussing the telco’s decision to participate in the campaign, Osman Sultan, CEO, du, expressed his sincere appreciation of His Highness’s initiative, saying "The United Arab Emirates leaders are proving once again their ongoing commitment to launching humanitarian initiatives during the holy month of Ramadan, targeting basic needs for millions of people beyond our country’s borders. The launch of the ‘Reading Nation’ campaign this year taps onto a major requirement globally, and is a confirmation of our commitment towards upholding the values of our religion, as well as recognising the importance of reading for the future of our region and the rest of the world. In addition it highlights the UAE’s active role in creating a better future for the region’s population."
"Being an Emarati company, we truly believe in the importance of actively contributing to social and humanitarian efforts. Especially that education represents one of our most important CSR pillars," added Sultan.
"Our continued support and cooperation with various other active partners in the country will further contribute in achieving the supreme goals of this humanitarian campaign."
Tariq Al Gurg, CEO, Dubai Cares, said: "We thank du for their support and highly appreciate their contribution as a main and active partner in all the humanitarian activities implemented by the UAE. Their valuable participation sets a benchmark of collaboration for all stakeholders to emulate for achieving the desired positive effects among our societies."
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum yesterday announced the ‘Reading Nation’ campaign that will continue until the 19th day of Ramadan, which coincides with the Emirati Humanitarian Work Day and the anniversary of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The goal of the campaign is to provide 5 million books for students-in-need in refugee camps and around the Islamic world. Two million books will be provided to children and students in refugee camps, with 2,000 libraries to be built around the Islamic world; the libraries will also be provided with 2 million books. In addition, the campaign will support the foreign educational program of the Emirati Humanitarian Organisations, by donating a further 1 million books to this cause.
Du dedicated free donation numbers through which customers can donate during the holy month. The cost of donating will be Dh10 per book. Interested donors can participate in the campaign through sending the word ‘Read’ to 9030 to donate Dh30, which is equivalent to the cost of printing 3 books, or send ‘Read’ to 9900 to donate Dh900, which is equivalent to the cost of printing 90 books.
Al Ansari Exchange donates Dh1 million
Al Ansari Exchange, the UAE-based foreign exchange and worldwide money transfer company, has announced its contribution of Dh1 million in support of ‘Reading Nation’ campaign for Ramadan launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in line with the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to declare 2016 as the ‘Year of Reading.’
The campaign aims to distribute 5 million books to children in refugee camps and schools around the world, establish over 2000 libraries in various Arab and Islamic countries as well as support various educational programs organised by humanitarian organisations.
Mohamed Ali Al Ansari, Chairman and Managing Director of Al Ansari Exchange, emphasised on the company’s commitment towards its social responsibilities. He said: "Our participation in this initiative reaffirms our relentless efforts in providing community support and service in accordance with the precepts and values taught by Islam throughout the holy month to strengthen social ties and help those in need. The ‘Reading Nation’ initiative is a reflection of the UAE’s wise leadership to support the people of the Arab and Islamic worlds, reinforcing its leading position among the countries that conducts the most charitable and humanitarian work in the world. On the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan, we congratulate His Highness Sheikh Khalifa, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, Their Highnesses, Supreme Council Members, and Rulers of the Emirates."
Mohammed Al Zarouni, manager of the Red Crescent's office in Dubai, said: "We are proud to witness an encouraging start to the ‘Reading Nation’ Ramadan campaign. It is heartening to witness the passion driving big corporations in the UAE to contribute to this humanitarian initiative. The nation is collectively determined to confront the social and economic dilemmas resulting from ignorance and deprivation of knowledge in Arab and Muslim societies."
He added: "The inspiring message of this campaign, to nurture the minds and souls of under-privileged children, reflects the UAE’s long-term vision to meet the needs of future generations in the Arab and Islamic world. We believe that the UAE’s development and humanitarian contributions will serve as a global role model. We can never achieve any of the Millennium Development Goals until we eradicate the causes of ignorance, poverty and deprivation. Books in the current day and age are as important as food and air for our young generations."