Over 3,500 volunteers turn out to support Dubai Cares community campaign for Gaza

Over 3,500 volunteers turn out to support Dubai Cares community campaign for Gaza

467A total of 3,593 volunteers converged at Al Boom Tourist Village in Dubai on January 8 and 9, 2015 to help pack 50,000 school kits for the children of Gaza. The Dubai Cares community campaign aims to supply the children of Gaza with the school necessities required to continue their education following the seven-week bombing during summer 2014 in Palestine. The campaign was conceived to provide children currently studying in UNRWA schools in Gaza with school essentials as they return to regular classes with the start of the second half of the academic year as well as the New Year.

The Dubai Cares community campaign, which is part of the organization’s recently launched “Rebuild Palestine. Start with Education.” initiative, was planned to take place from January 8 to 11, 2015. With the help of the thousands of volunteers that joined during the first two days, Dubai Cares was able to finish packing all the 50,000 bags on Friday January 9, 2015.

Commenting on the success of the campaign, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares praised the UAE community for its strong support saying: “We are grateful to everyone who volunteered over the course of the campaign, from corporations and schools to individuals, the UAE community has turned out in full force to make sure education remains part of the developmental vision for Palestine. The completion of the campaign with the packing of 50,000 school kits in just two days is testament to everyone’s commitment towards helping the children of Gaza. The children of Gaza have consistently fallen victim to the endless rounds of violence that has overwhelmed the region over the years. By providing them with the key material needed for school, we are enabling them to rise above the current circumstances and take control of their futures.”

The contents of the kit, sourced by Dubai Cares in accordance with UNRWA guidelines, included a backpack, notebooks, sketch books, geometry kit, calculator, pencil case for stationery including pens, pencils, erasers, sharpeners, crayons, rulers etc.

Aisha Abdulla Al Muhairi, UAE National, one of the participants commented: “I have a passion for volunteer work and I did not have a lot of chances to participate before so I am very happy to join Dubai Cares in this campaign. I feel pride and joy that our government and community caters to humanitarian programs away and at home. After this experience, I encourage everyone to take part in volunteer work as this kind of work reflects our humanity.”

Tareq Khalid, Palestinian, another participant commented: “I thank Dubai Cares for giving me this opportunity to work together with many people from different nationalities and cultures towards one noble cause with one aim; to draw a smile on the faces of Palestinian children.”

Piper Mills, American said: “To see so many people from different backgrounds, cultures and religions, working together for a cause that doesn’t provide personal gain for any of us, is incredibly rewarding. It really helps to restore some faith in humanity in a time when so many people are so focused on hurting others.”

The campaign follows the Dubai Cares AED 11 million (USD 3 million) program, which was launched in October 2014 to support access to education and mitigate the psycho-social effects of armed conflict on the student population in Gaza. This is not the first Dubai Cares campaign aimed at facilitating the lives of children living in Gaza. In 2009, the organization conducted a similar community engagement campaign that provided 50,000 school kits and 50,000 hygiene kits to the children of Gaza.



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Blind Charity Association “Kafeef” Honors Mobily for its Diamond Sponsorship of its Annual Celebration

Blind Charity Association “Kafeef” Honors Mobily for its Diamond Sponsorship of its Annual Celebration

4171HRH prince Abdulelah bin Abdulrhman bin Naser bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, head of the “blind Charity Association” Kafeef honored Mobily for its diamond sponsorship of the annual celebration of the Association” under the slogan “ we are proud of you” in its third version which was held at Nayyara Festival Hall in Riyadh. Dr. Eyas Al Hajery, Chief Executive Officer, Business Support, received the honorary shield on behalf of Mobily.

The celebration under the slogan “Proud of You 3” is considered an important event for those with visual disabilities inside and outside Riyadh region, who managed to change their lives into a better one as well as proving themselves to be a category of value in the society.

Dr. Eyas Al Hajery, Chief Executive Officer, Business Support at Mobily expressed his thanks and appreciation to the Association for organizing this annual celebration that Mobily was very keen to be engaged through its diamond sponsorship. He added that one of Mobily’s priorities is to support the charitable programs implemented by a number of charity associations in the Kingdom, which directly affect certain segments who deserve attention and care in order to be able to achieve their role in the development of society.

Dr. Al Hajery pointed out that Mobily is presently a leading name in the field of social responsibility through its many different contributions in all activities related to the implementation of the development for both individual and society. This reflects Mobily’s vision to be a part of the community through its interaction with all what would contribute in the progress of this nation.



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Prince Sultan Bin Nasser Bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud Honors Samsung at Charity Suhoor

Prince Sultan Bin Nasser Bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud Honors Samsung at Charity Suhoor

4148Under the Auspices of His Royal Highness Prince Sultan Bin Nasser Bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd, a global leader in digital media and digital convergence technologies, organized a charity Suhoor on Thursday evening at the Jeddah Hilton. The event gathered a large number of invitees including children with special needs and orphans from various associations, diplomats, business men, governmental representatives, cultural icons and media personalities.

The event, honored by the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Sultan Bin Nasser Bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, was inaugurated under the theme “When Orphans join hands with Disabled Youth”. It aimed to highlight the skills of children with physical and mental disabilities as well as the success of orphans in this precious society by merging them into all of every day’s activities and bringing them together to support one another.

Mr. Jae Cheon Park, General Manager of Samsung, expressed his delight to be amongst this number of distinguished people all gathered to honor the values ​​of solidarity by saying: “Samsung cares to be a social and responsible player in the countries it operates in. I must say, Saudi Arabia has been a home to us and its consumers have granted us their trust and have allowed us to become the number one electronics brand in the Kingdom. And out of our duty to give back, we find ourselves tonight at this beautiful event.”

The ceremony included several segments such as poetry given by a young child with special needs who shared his challenges and aspirations, while other adults told their stories about their life’s successes and turning their disability into strength. The ceremony agenda included an inspirational presentation portraying the aspects of charitable solidarity, while emphasizing that helping needy people according to Islam, happens anytime of the year and not only in Ramadan, especially with this group of precious children. The segment included a presentation about the future community center for the disabled, whose honorary President will be Prince Sultan Bin Nasser.

The ceremony ended with a keynote speech by Prince Sultan Bin Nasser who was presented by the children with a token of appreciation on behalf of Samsung Electronics and in return, the Prince honored prominent figures in the Kingdom and Samsung Electronics for endorsing this crucially important cause.




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Saudi Green Building Forum Provides Green Technology Resources Powered by Greenstar Hub in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East

Saudi Green Building Forum Provides Green Technology Resources Powered by Greenstar Hub in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East

4174The SAUDI GREEN BUILDING FORUM (SGBF), a trust foundation initiated by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, is continuing its effort to promote the King’s vision of leading the construction industry as a champion of the green building movement in the Middle East by providing green resources to professionals active in green construction and procurement.

Faisal Alfadl, Secretary General of SGBF states, “We are discussing these issues at the annual conference and the challenges facing the building materials of the construction industry, an area unsupported for eco-friendly product procurement in Saudi Arabia.” Mr. Alfadl added, “We are delighted about the opportunity to leverage GreenStar Hub’s technology in SGBF’s mission to provide point-of-access to products, service providers, vendors, and policies by the Saudi Arabian Standards Organization (SASO) to local communities that are affected by the green built environment.”

GreenStar Hub’s (GSH) CEO, Tam Phung, met with stakeholders in Riyadh. The panel discussion revealed a strong interest for green resources, technology, training, and building materials database. GSH intends to use local partners for third party certifications, logistics, and tenders fulfillment. The GSH portal for GreenStar Rated products, in collaboration with Saudi Arabia Accredited Fronds (Sa’af), a green labeled system by SGBF, and SASO will include products available locally to the 700 plus registered green-building specialists, contractors, and other stakeholders.

In March 2014, the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME) decreed that all companies must meet new air, water, and noise pollution standards in five years. All projects must fit into Saudi’s plan for international development, and meet international standards as part of the environmental plan to protect Saudi’s health and natural resources. GSH is an aggregator of such green policies and international standards.

“Our intentions were to meet SGBF’s guidelines in representing local leaders and stakeholders. I was pleased to visit the Kingdom and meet leading architects, government officials, vendors, and master developers. GSH is passionate about SGBF’s initiative by building technologies using invaluable input from local stakeholders. We are excited to be supporting SGBF Resources to promote an all-inclusive set of standards and outreach for green construction and sustainability initiatives in Saudi Arabia and M.E.,” said Mr. Phung.

SGBF Resources powered by GSH will provide members access to its marketplace and catalog of green products and vendors. Developers can showcase their projects and best-practices on GSH’s GreenWall microblog platform and mobile app. Local vendors and international greentech manufacturers will be able to list products in the portal, and consultants will have access to the resource, many with SASO and Sa’af certifications.


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VEOLIA RECOGNIZED BY THE NATIONAL WATER COMPANY FOR RIYADH PERFORMANCE

VEOLIA RECOGNIZED BY THE NATIONAL WATER COMPANY FOR RIYADH PERFORMANCE

4188The National Water Company of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (NWC) and Veolia Environnement, the global leader in environmental services, have signed an agreement finalizing the contractual incentive fees to be paid to Veolia. As a result, Veolia will receive payment of $5 million USD related to its performance in the Riyadh Management Contract.

Working in partnership with NWC through a public-private partnership performance contract, the first of its kind in the Middle East, Veolia has been acknowledged for its excellent work over the past five years in the treatment and distribution of water in Riyadh.

His Excellency Dr Loay Al-Musallam, CEO of NWC in Saudi Arabia, said: “The signature of this amendment is an excellent way to complete successfully the Management Contract for water and wastewater services in the city of Riyadh, which will end in June this year. A lot has been accomplished jointly by NWC and Veolia teams over the past 6 years. We rely on the continued involvement and expertise of Veolia for further joint successes in the years to come.”

Frederic Fleury, CEO of Veolia in Saudi Arabia, said: “Veolia is proud to have contributed to the significant improvement of Riyadh’s water services. Joint efforts have led to shared benefits for NWC and its Riyadh City Business Unit.” He added “Veolia is committed to Saudi Arabia for the long-term and providing customers with quality services. We believe arrangements like the one Veolia has with the National Water Company benefit both parties.”

Six years after the start of the contract, the optimizations of operating methods have contributed to the significant improvement of the quality of service while, at the same time, enhance knowledge transfer and water conservation in Riyadh.

In addition to the upgrade of Riyadh’s water and wastewater networks, Veolia succeeded to overcome these challenges thanks to the implementation of several customer-oriented tools and best practices. In the meantime, people from NWC have been following an intensive training programme to enhance their technical knowledge, performance and health & safety awareness.

Key figures at a glance:

- Increase of 1 million inhabitants in the population served by the potable water network

- Increase of 1.5 million inhabitants of the population connected to the wastewater network

- Continuity of supply has ramped up from 25% to more than 50% in 2013

- Customer satisfaction has ramped up from 45% to 85%

- Network Efficiency of 82%

In an environment of scarce water resources, effluent recycling for irrigation or industrial purposes is a promising avenue for new opportunities that NWC and Veolia are actively investigating.

Veolia Environnement is a global leader in environmental solutions. It has been operating in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, for 20 years and has approximately 4,000 of employees in the GCC. The company provides tailored solutions to meet the needs of municipal and industrial customers in the three areas of water management, waste management and energy management.

The National Water Company, a Saudi joint stock company fully owned by the government, was established to provide water and wastewater services in accordance with the latest international standards. NWC focuses on providing drinking water of high quality for all customers, providing all households with water and wastewater connections, the preservation of natural water resources, the protection of the environment, making maximum use of the Treated Sewage Effluent (TSE), and the development and training of qualified Saudi employees in accordance with the latest international standards.


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LEBANESE DIASPORA IN CHARITY DRIVE

LEBANESE DIASPORA IN CHARITY DRIVE

463The Lebanese School of the Blind and the Deaf (LSBD), with the help of Lebanese Embassy and Lebanese Volunteers in Qatar, organized a fund raising Musical Gala Dinner event on 03 April 2014.

In a splendid show of solidarity to this noble cause, Lebanese Diaspora turned up in large numbers and were very supportive through their contributions.

The event was held at La Cigale Hotel and made lively by the Musical Band comprising 20 musicians and singers from the students of the LSBD accompanied later on by the singer “Mario Karam” as the Special Guest.

The proceeds from this dinner would be used by LSBD for the welfare and education of the physically challenged children, who also have the same right to live and enjoy life.

“Our greatest appreciation goes to each and every one who participated and contributed to this initiative. Without the support of society and good Samaritans, it would not have been possible to hold this function and make it successful,” Mrs Jeanette Chamoun of LSBD said.

Founded in 1957, LSBD aims to establish a modern institute to educate blind and deaf children enabling them to participate effectively in the daily life of their community as independent members.




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Dubai Customs claims Golden Peacock Global Award for CSR

Dubai Customs claims Golden Peacock Global Award for CSR

4115Dubai Customs has claimed the prestigious Golden Peacock Global Award for Corporate Social Responsibility for the year 2013 in government organization category.

The awarding ceremony for government and private entities was part of the 8th Annual International Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility, held at Bengaluru, India. The conference was attended by His Excellency Shri Nikhil Kumar, Hon’ble Governor of State of Kerala, Justice M. N. Venkatachaliah, Chairman, Advisory Council, Institute of Directors, India and former Chief Justice of India, Dr Rebecca Reichmann Tavares, Ed.D. UN Women’s Representative for India, Maldives, Bhutan and Sri Lanka, and other dignitaries and CSR advocates in the EU and USA.

H.E. Ahmed Butti Ahmed, Executive Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation and Director General of Dubai Customs, expressed his joy for winning the award, granted in appreciation and recognition of DC’s CSR efforts and previous social and sustainable initiatives and practices which adhered to the award’s criteria.

Khalil Saqer, Director of Communication Department at Dubai Customs, presented Ahmed Butti with the award shield, stressing that the leadership’s support for community work, in line with DC’s strategic goals, and the various initiatives introduced by DC departments in this area have had the utmost impact in enhancing the corporate reputation of Dubai Customs locally, regionally and internationally.

Mr Saqer said the Golden Peacock Award is a testimony of DC’s achievements in the CSR field, namely receiving the Social Accountability certificate SA8000, catering to all community segments, addressing environmental topics, and raising awareness of IPR and risks of using counterfeit products.

He added that winning the award is the result of DC’s belief in the importance of CSR, which forms an integral part of its corporate strategy.

Golden Peacock Awards, instituted by Institute of Directors, India in 1991, are now regarded as Holy Grail of corporate excellence worldwide. Today, Golden Peacock Awards Secretariat receives over 1,000 entries per year for various awards, from over 25 countries worldwide. The achievement of the Golden Peacock Award is the most powerful way for organisations to build their brand. No business award today receives the kind of recognition and adulation among peers that the Golden Peacock does. They provide not only worldwide recognition and prestige, but a competitive advantage in driving business all over the world.


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EAD and National Geographic announce launch of GreatNature Project in UAE

EAD and National Geographic announce launch of GreatNature Project in UAE

4273The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) has joined forces with Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative and the Mohammed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund to promote National Geographic’s now live Great Nature Project, in the United Arab Emirates.

The global initiative is designed to inspire biodiversity conservation efforts among the public, across the globe, including the UAE, and will be championed by EAD along with its partners.

People of all ages can participate in The Great Nature Project by using their camera or smart phones to document the wildlife and plants they see around them.

Once the images are captured, people can upload the images to social media sites such as Instagram or Twitter.

The images must be accompanied with the tag: #GreatNature, adding the #animal tag to any animal picture or #plant to any plant picture, and #UAE if it has been sighted in the UAE.


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Crescent Enterprises lends helping hand to Green Abu Dhabi’s mangrove clean-up

Crescent Enterprises lends helping hand to Green Abu Dhabi’s mangrove clean-up

4256A team of 30 employees from UAE-based conglomerate Crescent Enterprises recently took part in the Landmark Mangrove Project led by Green Abu Dhabi, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of environmental conservation and protecting the region’s natural habitat.

Working alongside a group of students from New York University Abu Dhabi, the volunteers spent an afternoon collecting refuse and debris as part of this local environmental initiative, which is under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan the Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, with the cooperation of the Abu Dhabi Municipality and the Emirates Wildlife Society-World Wildlife Fund.

Chief Executive Officer of Crescent Enterprises, Badr Jafar, said, “Corporate social responsibility has always been a key priority of Crescent Enterprises, especially on a level that directly affects our community, so to have this opportunity to reinforce change through a hands-on approach, makes our partnership with Green Abu Dhabi and collaboration with New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) students even more personally significant and effective. We are honoured to actively participate in The Cleaning of the Mangroves this year and look forward to engaging future generations to do the same.”







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Radisson Blu Martinez Beirut brings The Box Appeal to Lebanon

Radisson Blu Martinez Beirut brings The Box Appeal to Lebanon

4240Radisson Blu Martinez Beirut announces the launch of ‘The Box Appeal’ in Lebanon. The charity campaign aims at helping those in need through the giving of essential items, and will start 17th of September and run until 31st October, 2013.

The campaign asks people to give back to those who need it most, by filling a provided box with a ’shopping list’ of needed items. In Lebanon ‘The Box Appeal’ aims at helping children in need by providing stationery for their schooling as a contribution towards supplying the required tools to build their educational future.

“Finally The Box Appeal is in Lebanon,” said Kosta Kourotsidis, general manager at Radisson Blu Martinez Hotel Beirut.

“We invite the Lebanese community to be part of this campaign as there is nothing more precious than positively playing a role, even if it is a small one, in someone’s future.” added Kourotsidis.

Taking part is easy; participants pick up a box, free of charge, from Radisson Blu Martinez, and return it filled with the pre-determined selection of stationery items. The hotel will then distribute the boxes to those in need of support, working in conjunction with teach-a-child, a non-profit organization which aims at ensuring that every child enjoys his/her basic human right to access quality education and the Lebanese Army as part of the campaign’s proceeds will go to the orphans of the Lebanese Army martyrs. The campaign will be supported by Sawt El Mada as media partners.

“We thank all those who have believed in this campaign and have decided to join the efforts in making it happen.” added Kourotsidis.

Creators of ‘The Box Appeal’, Radisson Blu and Park Inn by Radisson hotels, are setting their sights on beating last year’s total donation figure, through the introduction of new regions to the campaign. ‘The Box Appeal’, returning for its sixth consecutive year will now include the Middle Eastern regions of Jordan and Lebanon - which join the UAE, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman. In total, 15 Radisson Blu, Radisson Royal, and Park Inn by Radisson hotels will be encouraging the public across MENA, to get involved with supporting humanitarian charities.

Radisson Blu, Radisson Royal, and Park Inn Hotels are members of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, which is one of the first international hotel groups to implement a companywide initiative focusing on health and safety for guests and employees, on respect for social and ethical issues within the company, and on a reduced negative impact on the environment.



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