Stars for a cause

Superstar Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones were in Dubai to show their support for the Free the Children foundation

By David Light

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Published: Tue 7 Oct 2008, 9:29 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 3:43 PM

HOLLYWOOD SUPERSTARS MICHAEL Douglas and wife Catherine Zeta Jones were in Dubai yesterday to mark the presentation of property corporation Nakheel’s charitable donation to the Free the Children foundation. Free the Children is the world’s largest network of children helping children through education with more than one million youths involved in innovative education and development programs in 45 countries.

Founded in 1995 by Canadian international child rights activist Craig Keilburger, over the years Free the Children has received a host of accolades including the World’s Children’s prize for the Rights of the Child (Child Nobel Prize) and the Human Rights Award from the World Association of Non-Governmental Organisations. The charity has also formed successful partnerships with leading school boards and Oprah’s Angel Network.

The primary goals of the organisation are to free children from poverty and exploitation and free young people from the notion that they are powerless to affect positive change in the world. Yesterday Nakheel handed over a cheque for Dh7 Million to water sanitation programmes run by Free the Children.

The donation, which is part of a long term partnership with the charity, will be spent in programmes addressing water sanitation and water access issues in countries including Kenya and Sri Lanka.Craig Kielburger spoke with City Times at the cheque giving ceremony. “We are honoured to have the support of Nakheel and of course Michael who has been an ambassador with us for seven years and his wonderful wife Catherine. We are especially grateful Michael could come because he starts filming his new movie in a few days so it really was a fantastic effort.

This money will go towards saving lives in countries where there is a mortality rate of one in five. It is a huge boost to our efforts for which we are so grateful. Health education is a lifesaver and water and sanitation are some of the largest issues affecting the world’s population. This money will go so far.”Upon accepting the cheque on behalf of Free the Children Mr Douglas highlighted how important this money is to saving lives of infants by giving a variety of statistics on how harsh life is in the Third World and what a struggle it is just to get the necessary basics in order to survive.

He then showed his appreciation for the work Free the Children do. “I’m very proud to be associated with Free the Children it is an amazing initiative,” he told us. Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones have been in Dubai for the past three days visiting Nakheel sites and enjoying time in the emirate.

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