|Purpose||Primary education in developing countries|
|Reem Ibrahim Al Hashimy|
Dubai Cares is a charity working to provide children in developing countries with access to quality primary education. Dubai Cares' mission to increase children’s access to quality primary education is realized through integrated programs that eliminate the underlying obstacles that prevent children from going to school and learning. This is achieved through building and renovating schools and classrooms, improving water, sanitation and hygiene in schools, providing school feeding, deworming activities, early childhood education, as well as teacher training, curriculum development, literacy and numeracy.
Education is the most effective tool to break the cycle of poverty, a belief held by the founder His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai. It was from this belief and the desire to give children - regardless of their nationality, creed or religion - the opportunity to become positive contributors to society, that His Highness established Dubai Cares in September 2007.
Cross Cutting Themes
Gender equality is a cross cutting theme in all Dubai Cares’ education programs with an approach that aims to secure equal access for boys and girls to safe learning environments with adequate facilities, materials and academic support from qualified teachers and engaged communities.
Central to Dubai Cares’ approach is a focus on monitoring, evaluation and learning. Through the design and support of catalytic and innovative programs, Dubai Cares seeks to test alternative models and hypotheses that can increase the impact of interventions and contribute to the global body of evidence-based best practices.
Reaching more than 8 million children in 31 developing countries, Dubai Cares, with the support of the UAE community, is making a difference in the lives of children and their communities by:
• Building and renovating over 1,500 classrooms
• Providing more than 1,000 water wells and potable water sources and constructing over 3,000 latrines in schools
• Providing nutritious food everyday to more than 500,000 children in schools
• Training over 23,000 teachers
• Keeping more than 2.3 million children free from intestinal worms through its de-worming activities
• Distributing over 2.1 million books written in local languages
• Establishing over 6,750 Parent-Teacher Associations
Dubai Cares has been investing heavily in developing innovative partnership models that not only promote enhanced program delivery, but also institutional and sectoral learning.
In order to identify program opportunities, Dubai Cares assesses the needs of local communities and designs interventions that generate immediate and long-term impact in the lives of children and their communities. Dubai Cares works through an implementing partnership model with UN agencies, multi-lateral international and national non-governmental organizations.
To date, Dubai Cares has supported primary education programs in 31 countries; Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia, Chad, Comoros Islands, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Laos, Lesotho, Mali, Mauritania, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Philippines, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Yemen, Zambia as well as Palestinian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon.
Contributing to the post 2015 MDG
Dubai Cares has been recently selected by UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon  to join as a member of the Technical Advisory Group for his 5-year "Global Education First Initiative"  which was launched during the week of the UN General Assembly in New York in September 2012 to ensure quality, relevant and transformative education for all children across the world.
Dubai Cares seeks to be a technical convener on education issues, especially in developing and contributing to the post 2015 MDG  agenda and as a champion of innovative programs and policies. As an example, Dubai Cares supported and hosted the second Learning Metrics Task Force (LMTF) meeting in Dubai during February 2012 to identify common learning goals in order to improve learning opportunities for children and youth across the world. The LMTF was convened by the Brookings Institution  and UNESCO  in order to ensure that learning becomes a central component of the global development agenda, in line with the global Global Education First Initiative.
Community Engagement in the UAE
In the UAE, Dubai Cares engages residents through a series of volunteer, awareness and fundraising initiatives that are linked to its global mandate. These initiatives include the Walk for Education, Volunteer Emirates  and the annual Ramadan Campaign.