Ever mindful of its corporate responsibilities towards society, Dubai Aluminium (“DUBAL”) –that owns and operates the world’s largest primary aluminium smelter using pre-bake anode technology – has again lent its support to Dubai Autism Center (“DAC”). An internal campaign, run throughout April (marked as ‘autism month’ worldwide), together with a direct cash donation from DUBAL raised AED 200,000 for DAC’s project to construct a newer, bigger and better treatment center that can accommodate more children with autism in the UAE.
Driven by the slogan “Their passion … our support”, the campaign comprised three elements, namely:
Participation at Dubai Flea Market, Safa Park in early-April, where unwanted items donated by employees were offered for sale.
A payroll deduction initiative, whereby employees could voluntarily contribute an amount, deducted from their salary payment.
A raffle, the tickets for which were bought by employees in the hope of winning one of 49 prizes. The raffle draw to determine the prize-winners was conducted by students at DAC on 8 May 2013, during a visit to the centre by a delegation from DUBAL.
Importantly, the campaign typified the culture of giving at DUBAL, where volunteering provides valuable opportunities for employees to touch and change people’s lives. “Involving our employees in DUBAL’s corporate social responsibility initiatives has had considerable impact,” explains Mohammed Yahya (Manager: Corporate Relations & International Affairs). “Not only does it give them opportunities to channel their efforts in this area, but also adds value by enabling DUBAL to become more directly involved in the needs of the society, especially as many employees’ family members also participate in our outreach activities. The approach highlights DUBAL’s core brand value of caring to people outside our organization, and facilitates greater impact – as this fund-raising campaign for Dubai Autism Center demonstrates.”
DUBAL has supported DAC in several ways since 2009, with activities including initiatives to help raise awareness of autism, raise funds, provide skills training and development opportunities to the center’s administration personnel, rebuild their warehouse and implement a stock management system. Active participation of employees is ensured through widespread communication using diverse channels – such as posters, emails, e-posters and bulk SMS messages. The fund-raising campaign held in 2012 yielded a handsome AED 250,000 (including a direct cash injection from DUBAL), which provided a 30 per cent down payment for the slabs needed to construct the first floor of DAC’s new learning center. “We are proud that the funds raised this year will give the project another boost,” says Yahya.