The honouring ceremony was attended by Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Sharjah Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler, Shaikh Essam bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Department of Culture and Information, Hamad Abdul Rahman Al Midfa, Minister of Health, and Shaikh Mohammed bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Assistant Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Director of the Sharjah Medical District. The ceremony was also attended by a number of prominent officials.
The inaugural speech was delivered by Humaid Al Qutami, Chairman of the Award’s Board of Trustees who said that the award is the first of its kind to be held in UAE and in the Arab world.
“The award was instituted under the instructions of Dr Shaikh Sultan with the aim of supporting and enhancing voluntary work in the country. We hope the award succeeded in consolidating the true concept of voluntary work in people’s mind and in motivating them to perform a noble deed without waiting for financial rewards.”
Al Qutami added: “Today is the day to felicitate establishments and individuals who devoted themselves to various voluntary activities and to tell them that their work and accomplishments are cherished and appreciated by the society.”
He added: “Nowadays different countries of the world are facing various crisis such as natural disasters, malnutrition and poverty and are in real need of volunteers who can lend them a supportive hand in endeavouring to alleviate their pains and sufferings. Volunteers should spare no efforts in spreading welfare, equality, justice and cooperation in the world and should always encourage others to accomplish voluntary work. We hope the award is a means of conveying the voluntary message to others who through accomplishing various voluntary work can contribute to the development of their country as a whole.”
Dr Ameen bin Hussain Al Amiri, Secretary-General of the award board, said that the award aimed at making volunteers feel the significance of their contribution and to tell them that their effort towards attaining the prosperity of the country and alleviating the pain of others has not been in vain.
About 90 per cent of the nominees and the winners are UAE nationals. The statistics has proved that the volunteers are mainly engaged in social work followed by environment and athletic voluntary work, he said.
“The statistics proved that voluntary work started to become popular in the UAE though it witnessed a recession period a few years back. It also proves that various members of the society are successfully involved in voluntary work and have succeeded in proving their capacities,” he added.
Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Education, Shaikha Jameela bint Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Director of Sharjah City For Humanitarian Services, Saeed Ahmed Lootah, Hamel A. Gaith Hamel Al Qabisi and Abdullah Al Massood were among the six renowned volunteers who played pioneering roles in various fields of voluntary work and were presented with medals and certificates of appreciation by Dr Shaikh Sultan.
Beit Al Khair, a Dubai-based charity society, was also chosen as one of the humanitarian associations awarded for its distinguished accomplishments in taking care and financially supporting more than 6,400 UAE orphans.
Shaikh Mohammed bin Saqr Al Qasimi was among the 16 individual winners who devoted their efforts to voluntary deeds. The Environment Department at Dubai Municipality was among the two government bodies that won the award. Sharjah Welfare Society was one of the two charity associations that were rewarded.Middle East Institute for Computer and Culture and Sharjah Model Schools were among the six winners of educational institutions and schools category of the award. Raghas Omar, Bashar Jalal and Moza Mohammed were the three winner students of the award.
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