Participants pose for photographs during the event.
Thousands of UAE community members on Friday walked three kilometres to show solidarity with millions of children in developing countries who cover the same distance every day to go to school.
The family-focused walking event, organised by Dubai Cares, an affliate of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, attracted individuals from different ages and nationalities who also enjoyed several fun-filled activities including roaming performers, live music, sports and food stalls.
Abdulla Ahmed Alshehhi, Chief Operating Officer at Dubai Cares, speaking about this year’s remarkable turnout, said, “It is truly humbling to see people from all age groups coming together as one voice in support of millions of children in developing countries who continue to face challenges in their quest for education. I would like to thank our committed partners, sponsors, volunteers, supporters as well as the local authorities who continue to support our noble cause of education. The generous and continuous support we receive from the UAE community will certainly help us extend the scope of our efforts to reach as many children and young people as possible around the world.”
While this year's Dubai cares' Walk for Education silver sponsor was Chevron, bronze was IFFCO. Al Tayer Group and The Kindergarten Starters were among the first organisations to sign up to the event which confirmed the participation of 1,200 staff and 857 students respectively. Arabian Radio Network (ARN), du, Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Police, Dubai Sports Council, Hills Advertising, ITP Media Group, JK58, Road and Transport Authority (RTA) and 800 Tickets were the other supporting partners for the Dubai Cares' Walk for Education 2020.
Latifa and Rashed, the two official mascots of Expo 2020 Dubai also joined the Walk and both exchanged smiles, high-fives and pictures with children and families. In addition, Nemo mascot from Kidzania welcomed participants and interacted with participants.
Rana Awad, Head of Community Engagement at Dubai Cares said that it was truly wonderful to see so many parents along with their children, colleagues and friends participating in the Walk for Education in solidarity with those who are less fortunate in other parts of the world.
"We are happy to see how this event was not only fostering bonds between people, but most importantly helping us to rally the community to reduce the burden of children’s journey to school and make it safer for them," she added.
RamsonMbinge, a Civil Engineering student from Cameroon said that he was very happy to be part of Dubai Cares’ Walk for Education 2020.
"This initiative truly ispires the community to give back and help children living dire conditions in many regions in the world. I wish today’s symbolic gesture will bring about positive and lasting changes among children and help them aspire to a brighter future,” he said.
Dubai Cares, since its inception, has been working towards helping children and young people in developing countries access quality education through its several programmes.
The UAE-based global philanthropic organisation has successfully launched education programmes reaching over 20 million beneficiaries in 59 developing countries.
The Foundation is playing a key role in helping achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, which aims to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning by 2030, by supporting programs in early childhood development, access to quality primary and secondary education, technical and vocational education and training for youth as well as a particular focus on education in emergencies and protracted crises.
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 annual Walk for Education, Volunteer Emirates, Volunteer Globally and Ramadan Campaign.
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