Expenditure on spreading knowledge totals Dhs628m - GulfToday

Expenditure on spreading knowledge totals Dhs628m

AyedAlJundi

Ayed Al Jundi said his love for reading gave him the strength to participate in the challenge.

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) announced that 41 million people across the world have benefited from its Spreading Education & Knowledge initiatives and programmes that amounted to Dhs628 million in 2018.  

Spreading Education and Knowledge is one of the five pillars classified under the umbrella of MBRGI, besides Healthcare and Disease Control, Humanitarian Aid and Relief, Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Empowering Communities.

Projects, programmes and initiatives dedicated to spreading knowledge and education reached people worldwide, with Dubai Cares programmes supporting 22.6 million people in 39 countries, while the Arab Reading Challenge for 2018/2019 round drew 13.5 million participating students across the Arab world. Madrasa e-learning platform, launched in 2018, benefitted 1.1 million students in the first three months of its launch through its 5,000 free Arabised science and math videos, designed in accordance with the latest international curricula, for 50 million Arab students.  MBRGI has also awarded 115 scholarships, fellowships and seed grants.

Dubai Cares continued to play a key role in ensuring quality and inclusive education to empower the vulnerable and improve lives of less fortunate communities. The organisation has worked towards improving children’s access to basic education in developing countries, expanding its scope over the last years to include secondary education and youth empowerment.

Dubai Cares initiatives benefited more than 22.6 million people in 39 countries in 2018. It expanded its educational and developmental programmes in 2018, with focus on youth and girl empowerment, to four new countries: Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. MBRGI is currently organizing a humanitarian art exhibition in Dubai Mall, from May 19-31, showcasing its inspiring 2018 achievements through the five pillars of work: Spreading Education & Knowledge, Healthcare & Disease Control, Empowering Communities, Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Humanitarian Aid & Relief.

Inspiring stories

Reading in Poor Vision: In the prime of her youth, Farah Al Khamiri from Tunisia gradually began losing her sight from the sixth grade due to a weakening of her corneal tissue. Her condition did not stop her from competing in the Arab Reading Challenge, using her mother’s help to read to her.

Al Khamiri’s mother said books have given her daughter hope and strength to fight through her visual impairment. Munir Boulami, the challenge’s coordinator in Jendouba, Tunisia, said: “Farah was born a creative girl with a strong will to challenge any physical or psychological barriers.”

Speaking of her experience, Al Khamiri said: “With will and determination, I continue my journey. I want to be an active part of society.” She added that “reading has made me a stronger person and taught me to be who I am today, to always pursue my hopes and aspirations. Life has taught me that dreams can come true only through diligence and hard work. My life motto is: ‘The best is yet to come’.”

Al Khamiri always dreamed of being a police officer, though she realises that her condition might make her dream difficult to achieve. Thanks to the Arab Reading Challenge team, Al Khamiri fulfilled her dream of becoming a police officer for a day when she donned the uniform and rode in a patrol car during her visit to Dubai to attend the challenge. She said: “The experience has given me a sense of pride and confidence that I can pursue my dream.”

Determination Defies Disease: Hailing from the city of Yatta in Palestine, 9-year-old Ayed Al Jundi was unable to attend the Arab Reading Challenge semi-finals in Dubai due to his ailing health.

Despite having to undergo kidney dialysis, Al Jundi managed to read 50 books to qualify for the finals in Palestine.

Al Jundi said his love for reading gave him the strength to participate in the challenge.

He spends his travel time between Yatta and the hospital in Jerusalem reading books, making his treatments and the long time spent in dialysis bearable. The ambitious boy said he derives his persistence from his mother, who has been his companion in his journey of therapy and reading.

Al Jundi received a special recognition from the supervising committee when he attended the Arab Reading Challenge award ceremony in Palestine. His persistence and quest for knowledge during the difficult circumstances has made him a role model for his generation.