Oxfam Global Ambassador Helena Christensen in Nepal
The Dubai International Film Festival and luxury Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen will host a gala dinner and charity event under the patronage of UN Messenger of Peace HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, during the 8th edition of the Festival, with all profits going to UAE-based philanthropic organization Dubai Cares and global development and aid agency, Oxfam.
Money raised will benefit communities and individuals around the world, including the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
‘One Night to Change Lives,’ the black-tie charity evening, will be held on December 10, 2011, at the Armani Hotel Dubai. Tickets to the exclusive event are limited, and are available from Dubai Cares at www.dubaicares.ae. The event is part of the 8th Dubai International Film Festival that will take place from December 7 to 14, 2011.
DIFF Chairman Abdulhamid Juma said: “Just as meaningful films have a transformational impact on people and cultures, we believe that film festivals have a larger societal role to play. Over the years, the Dubai International Film Festival has strived to make a difference in our world by partnering with charity initiatives that have far-reaching impact.”
“We are particularly proud this year to support a UAE-based organization, Dubai Cares, and an international institution, Oxfam. By providing access to quality primary education, Dubai Cares is offering children in developing countries the skills and chance to become positive contributors to society. Oxfam directs its efforts to address one of the foremost challenges that humanity faces today – poverty – by empowering individuals and communities. We hope the UAE community will join us in making a tangible difference to the lives of underprivileged people in our region and around the world.”
Since its Oxford-based beginnings in 1942, Oxfam has grown into a worldwide force. Oxfam works with partners in 98 countries on a diverse range of projects, from providing emergency water sources to education, to supporting community health projects, to helping communities adapt to the effects of climate change.
In the region, Oxfam operates and supports projects in Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, Sudan, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Ethiopia and Bangladesh, among others. Dubai Cares is one of Oxfam’s prominent partners in the region. The charity has provided funding for Oxfam’s education programmes in both Niger and Pakistan, and is currently funding an Oxfam project in Mali.
Oxfam’s Global Ambassadors include A-list actors Colin Firth, Scarlett Johansson, Minnie Driver, Gael Garcia Bernal, Djimon Hounsou, Kristin Davis, Rahul Bose; musicians Coldplay and Annie Lennox; Helena Christensen and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. A number of Oxfam ambassadors are expected to attend the December event.
Oxfam has been engaged in the Arabian Gulf for a few years and, in addition to Dubai Cares, has also established partnerships with the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, AlWaleed Bin Talal Foundation, AGFUND and the UAE Red Crescent.
Oxfam Director Barbara Stocking said: “In recent years Gulf states, and particularly the UAE, have been playing an increasingly prominent role in supporting humanitarian and development work worldwide. This prestigious new partnership with DIFF offers a fantastic opportunity to increase awareness in the region of Oxfam’s vital work combating poverty and suffering. Poverty is preventable and we want everyone to join together to make a difference to the lives of vulnerable people around the world. “
Founded in 2007 by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Cares is working to improve children’s access to quality primary education in developing countries. The philanthropic organization expresses the UAE's commitment to achieve, by 2015, the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (UN MDG) 2 and 3 - namely, to guarantee universal primary education and to promote gender equality, respectively. It is also helping to forge a global partnership for development, as represented by UN MDG 8.
Today, Dubai Cares is reaching more than five million beneficiaries in 24 countries with its comprehensive primary education programmes that integrate four key components: School Infrastructure; School Health & Nutrition; Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) in Schools; and Quality of Education. To date, Dubai Cares has implemented programmes in Bangladesh, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia, Chad, Comoros Islands, Djibouti, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Laos, Mali, Mauritania, Nepal, Niger, Palestine, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Sir Lanka, South Africa, Sudan, Yemen, Zambia and with Palestinian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon.
In addition to OXFAM, Dubai Cares has partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Care International, GAIN, Médecins Sans Frontières, Microsoft, Plan International, Room to Read, Save the Children, Scholastic, Teri Press, UNICEF, UNRWA, WaterAid and World Food Programme.
Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares, said: “Our success over the last four years is largely due to the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and the tremendous support and contributions from the UAE community. DIFF and IWC Schaffhausen have presented Dubai Cares with an excellent opportunity to showcase its achievements and raise funds in support of its efforts to reach as many children as possible with its primary education programmes and help developing countries achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals.”
IWC Schaffhausen is the official watch manufacturer of the Dubai International Film Festival. DIFF is held in association with Dubai Studio City. Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah, the home of the Dubai International Film Festival, are the principal sponsors of DIFF. The Festival is supported by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority.