Under Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi
The Award attracted 42 projects and 2732 voluntary contributions, and produced 13428 volunteering hours
Sharjah, 2 March 2017: Guided by the wise vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, Sharjah Award for Voluntary Work held on Wednesday at Al Qasimia University’s Auditorium a special ceremony dedicated to honoring winners of its 13th and 14th editions held in 2015 and 2016 respectively. The ceremony was attended by Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qasimi, Member of Sharjah Executive Council and Chairman of Central Finance Department.
In her opening speech, Afaf Al Marri, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees at Sharjah Award for Voluntary Work, expressed her deep gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, for his gracious patronage of the Award since its inception, a gesture that added considerable momentum to the initiative and empowered its positive impact on the Emirati society.
“We are very proud to honor such a distinguished group of humanitarian and volunteering leaders who contributed their efforts, creativity, and time throughout 2015 and 2016. These two years witnessed the launch of 42 volunteering projects, 2732 contributions and 2332 volunteers whose collective efforts produced a total of 13428 volunteering hours,” added Al Marri, noting that “for the current cycle, the value of volunteering initiatives and projects amounts to AED 395 million.”
Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qasimi then honored winning individuals and institutions, starting with two volunteering veterans: the late Ameera Abdul Rahim Bin karam, whose sister Reem Abdul Rahim Bin Karam received the award in her absence; and HE Mohammed Hamdan Al Zari.
Several official dignitaries, social figures and institutions with an active role in the field of volunteering work were also honored including Sheikha Fatima bint Abdullah Al Qasimi representing Bader Team, HE Abdullah Sultan Al Owais representing Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI); Sharjah Media Corporation (SMC) represented by HE Mohammed Hasan Khalaf; HE Rashid Mohammed Dimas Al Suwaidi; HE Yousef Al Zarouni, Monther Al Muzakki Al Shamsi, HE Hamad Taryam Al Shamsi, and the Higher Colleges of Technology represented by Dr. Muhadditha Al Hashimi and Dr. Abdullah Al Suwaihi.
The ten winners of 2015 and the winners of all 2016 SAV categories were also recognized. The categories cover a diverse range of volunteering aspects and fields including Creating Volunteering Opportunities, Supporting Volunteering Initiatives, Contributing to Volunteering Activities and Volunteering Stars, in addition to the special categories dedicated to volunteer work contributors.
Among the recognized institutions was Sharjah Islamic Bank in appreciation of its remarkable contributions to sponsoring volunteer work in the emirate and generous support of a number of charitable entities including Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services, the Pink Caravan and the Social Services Department. Over the past three years, Sharjah Islamic Bank’s financial and humanitarian contributions exceeded AED 122 million.
The Impact of Giving
HE Abdullah Sultan Al Owais, Chairman of SCCI, expressed his appreciation to the UAE’s visionary leadership for nurturing and supporting the efforts and programs that encourage volunteering and reflect the country’s approach of consolidating the concept of giving as way of life and a general social trend.
A Safeguard for Philanthropy
In the same context, HE Mohammed Hasan Khalaf, Director General of SMC, said: “We won the Award for our ‘Pain and Hope’ (Alam wa Amal) program, which is based on the commendable volunteering efforts of participating philanthropist, their impressive social contributions and the volunteering opportunities the program offers to people. It is a well-deserved recognition and I would like to thank all the program’s team members who have succeeded in making ‘Alam w Amal” a leader in humanitarian action for many years. I consider this program the safeguard for giving and philanthropic work in the Emirati media, especially in 2017 which has been designated as the Year of Giving in the UAE.”
Encouraging Volunteering Efforts
Established by Decree No. 2 of 2001, issued by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, Sharjah Award for Voluntary Work (SAV) is the first-of-its-kind in the UAE and the Arab World. Aiming to make the UAE a role model for establishing and promoting volunteering institutions, SAV encourages and backs all kinds of volunteering efforts by recognizing the entities and individuals who offered their voluntary efforts, ideas and projects without expecting to be repaid. The volume of participation in 14th edition of Sharjah Award for Voluntary Work witnessed an increase by 127% compared to the previous year in all categories by government authorities, civil society organizations, the private sector, families, individuals, a wide range of volunteering teams and students.