Channelling the needs of Emirati youth into empowerment

Ashwani Kumar /Abu Dhabi Filed on May 19, 2018
Channelling the needs of Emirati youth into empowerment
Maytha Al Habsi, CEO of Emirates Foundation

Emirates Foundation's programmes allow the youth to be champions of the future

"Our vision is to empower and guide the UAE youth for their prosperous future, Maytha Al Habsi, CEO of the Emirates Foundation, said during an interview with Khaleej Times. One of the members of the founding team in 2005, Al Habsi is the first Emirati to hold the position of CEO of the foundation.

"It takes lot of my energy and dedication, as you need to listen to what the youth have to say across all the emirates and develop solutions," Al Habsi said

Young Emiratis are the greatest hope and resource in realising the UAE's futuristic vision and the Emirates Foundation is helping the young people become leaders of the future for more than a decade now.

"The youth in each emirate have different needs. We achieve that through programmes that tackle the challenges Emiratis face in the country. We provide solutions through our programmes, whether it's helping them invest their time more efficiently through volunteering opportunities or helping understand the science and technology sector," Al Habsi said.

Of the youth programmes Takatof, Sanid, Think Science, Esref sah, Kafa'at and Dawamee, two of them are Maytha's brainchild. The programmes allow the youth to be champions of the future in the sector or equips them with skills that are needed to succeed.

"Takatof is my baby. It is the biggest volunteer programme in the UAE. It is something I had started from early on and today I am happy to see this platform engaging hundreds of thousands of youth, companies and organisation. It is a culture grown which has over the years grown and become big. Think Science is another one I started five years ago; today, it is the biggest science and technology platform for the youth in the region.

"Students are at heart of what we do and more than 300 schools were part of Think Science Fair 2018 in Dubai. We will continue to challenge ourselves."

The foundation works with public and private sector partners to meet national goals and respond to society's pressing challenges in the areas of youth empowerment and engagement, volunteering and entrepreneur-ship powered by digital smart platforms and defined through data-driven market needs.

"We are very aligned with the needs of the country. We channel youth's energy and talent towards achieving country's goals. We do that with partnerships with the public and private sector. Our programmes are fully covered financially and technically through our partnerships with the private sector."

Maytha engages in talks with private sector players for fundraising to realise the goals.

"It needs a lot of engagement and planning and developing partnerships which helps you deliver at scale. We are also fundraising for our initiatives.

"I am very focused on establishing new partnerships that allows bigger opportunities for Emirati youth. This isn't an easy job but a very rewarding one. When you see the impact you bring on the lives of youth, it brings you a lot of satisfaction," the CEO added.


Ashwani Kumar

I am a newspaperman from the emirate of Abu Dhabi. A journalist at heart. I get my stories from the streets. A south Indian born in the Hindi heartland, I easily connect with people from different nationalities and cultures. I am calm like a monk, sensitive and very patient reporter. On the ground, I cover a range of topics related to community, health, embassy, tourism, transport, business and sports. I will go out on a leg to do what’s right and stand by what I believe in.

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