Charity School in UAQ Gets a Facelift

UMM AL QUWAIN — The walls of a charity school in Umm Al Quwain received a fresh coat of paint on Saturday, thanks to the enthusiastic volunteers of the ‘Volunteer Emirates’ programme.

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Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Mon 1 Dec 2008, 1:10 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 7:27 PM

In a programme of the second phase of the Dubai Cares campaign called ‘Volunteer Emirates’, architects, engineers, investment bankers, creative directors and others numbering over 150 rolled up their sleeves to renovate and paint the walls of Umm Al Qura Charity School.

They also painted murals on the walls depicting child-friendly images like flowers, butterflies and colours of the UAE national flag.

“Volunteer Emirates is designed to attract people of all ages and various backgrounds to contribute to bettering the lives of all in our community. By renovating a school, today’s volunteers are enriching a student’s experience and providing outlets to children to enjoy themselves and their surroundings while they learn,” said Reem Al Hashimy, Chairperson of Dubai Cares Board of Directors.

While a few teams worked on the walls, the others got down to renovate the crumbling playground. The volunteers worked tirelessly from 8.45am to 4.30pm, stopping only for occasional short breaks. They were asked to construct a good playground and renovate the 44 classrooms.

The pilot programme of the volunteer programme was tested at Manar Al Iman School, Ajman in which over 150 volunteers renovated the school by painting 22 classrooms, installing new playground equipment and landscaping the premises.

The organisers told Khaleej Times that the response at Umm Al Qura was better than that at Manar Al Iman, Ajman.

Volunteers expressed delight at being a part of such a programme. Abdulla bin Touq, Emirati engineer, said, “What inspires me is the joy that the children would feel when they come back to see their boring school walls looking bright and colourful.”

Ahmed Al Tenaiji, an Emirati investment banker, said¸ “I have never painted before and I felt great when I finished painting the first 16 classrooms. By volunteering like this, one gives something very important to his community.”

Samuel Mbugua from Kenya, an animator, is inspired to volunteer more often. “It is awesome fun painting these classrooms. The walls were very grim before we came in and now the children would definitely love the brighter and more colourful classrooms” said Samuel.

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