Dubai students raise Dh720,000, give 9,000 kits to charity schools

These activities are taking place from June 10 to June 25 across various educational institutions

by

Nandini Sircar

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KT Photo: Nandini Sircar
KT Photo: Nandini Sircar

Published: Mon 10 Jun 2024, 3:17 PM

Last updated: Mon 10 Jun 2024, 9:51 PM

The spacious PE hall of a bustling Dubai school echoed with the vibrant energy of over 150 students getting ready to pack 9,000 school kits on Monday, June 10.

The students were abuzz with excitement as they were getting ready for the donation drive made possible through the “Students for Students" initiative that has successfully raised Dh720,000 in its first phase.


These activities joined by five participating schools are taking place from June 10 to June 25 across various educational institutions in Dubai.

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Students spring into action

This initiative is part of a campaign by Dubai Cares, and will see students pack bags with an array of essential school items such as stationery and books.

Volunteering and coming together for a heartfelt cause has never been easier for Year 7 and Year 8 students. Noor Khalil was one such volunteer who was seen lovingly putting stationery items of all shapes and sizes into each bag.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, she said, “I feel excited doing this because I can imagine the faces of the students upon receiving these really nice wheelie bags.

“They’ll be so happy to see these," the Year 8 student added.

Noor Khalil
Noor Khalil

Another eager student from Year 7, Owen Rowlands was also seen carefully choosing items that will help the less fortunate.

“We’ve been packing school supplies for children in need and I feel glad to know that I can be helping people and that they’ll be able to learn and save money by not buying school supplies because we are able to give these to them. I was putting sharpeners inside the pencil case and I was also helping with the erasers. We were an entire train of people passing on things to each other, so, this was happening really fast,” said the student of Raffles International School.

Owen Rowlands
Owen Rowlands

Tables were adorned with heaps of pens, pencils, and notebooks, with many more lying in organised rows.

KT Photo: Nandini Sircar
KT Photo: Nandini Sircar

Children shared smiles, united by a common goal, deftly accomplishing their goal within a school hour.

KT Photo: Nandini Sircar
KT Photo: Nandini Sircar

Azante Mosterd, another Year 7 student, said, “I feel excited doing this because I know there are children out there who really need this and they can finally learn because they don’t have the money to buy these things, the way many of us do.”

Azante Mosterd
Azante Mosterd

Catalyst for community engagement

The event also proved to be a catalyst for further community engagement with some parent volunteers assisting on the floor.

“As a parent, I am here because we are role models for our children. The effort is commendable. The biggest learning is that even if you have enough, there are people you need to look after. It's not about you alone.

"I believe ‘as you rise, lift others’. It might be just one day but when you see the collective effort of all the students, teachers, and parents…everyone coming together, it makes a massive impact," said Esha Das, secretary for the parents' association of Raffles International School.

School leaders underlined how the community engagement initiative mobilised the wider school community in Dubai, offering students the opportunity to ‘think’ and ‘champion education for peers’ from low-income backgrounds.

KT Photo: Nandini Sircar
KT Photo: Nandini Sircar

“It's about being reflective about others. Students understand that the world isn't the same for everyone. The world is a big place and actually when you get the opportunity to care and to support others then you should always do that," said Steven Giles, Principal at Raffles International School.

Steven Giles, Principal, Raffles International School
Steven Giles, Principal, Raffles International School

He emphasised that the five Innoventures Education schools participated in the charitable initiative out of their collective will, with events held throughout the day at various locations.

Giles added, “There's no money involved at all, as the equipment is all provided by Dubai Cares and we just provide the manpower and the labour to put them together. The students are so excited. When we gave them the opportunity, they all volunteered to want to be a part of it.”

“Students for Students” initiative

In the first phase of the “Students for Students” initiative, the 14 participating schools successfully raised Dh 720,000, as students organised a diverse array of events – from spring fairs to bake sales and games – to raise funds in order to buy essential school supplies for children in charity schools in the UAE.

Participating schools include, Al Ittihad Private School – Al Mamzar, Collegiate International School, Dubai International Academy - Emirates Hills, Dubai International Academy Al Barsha, GEMS Legacy School, GEMS Modern Academy, Jumeirah Primary School, Jumeirah College, Nord Anglia International School Dubai, Raffles World Academy and Raffles International School, Safa Community School, The Millennium School and The Indian International School.

Shedding light on the second and the subsequent phases of this philanthropic pilot programme, Abdulla Ahmed Alshehhi, Chief Operating Officer at Dubai Cares highlighted this might become an annual feature soon.

He said, “We partnered with private schools in Dubai to help their peers from underprivileged families by raising funds through different exciting activities. We are evaluating this initiative and there is an eagerness from different schools to participate.”

Abdulla Ahmed Alshehhi, Chief Operating Officer at Dubai Cares
Abdulla Ahmed Alshehhi, Chief Operating Officer at Dubai Cares

"With that donation, we bought essential supplies and prepared school kits for students from low-income families. This is the second phase of this activity where students have gathered to assemble those essential school items with us. Then we will distribute these kits across the charity schools as part of the third phase that will happen in August just before the commencement of the academic year,” added Alshehhi.

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