Dubai Women's College (DWC), a Higher Colleges of Technology flagship institution hosted today the "Cotopia Social Responsibility Dialogue" event under the theme “For the UAE Society".
The event aims at shedding light on local examples that have contributed their personal experiences and initiatives to spreading culture of social responsibility and promoting its practices in UAE.
Eight UAE nationals participated in this year's event in which they individually presented their experiences that have made them well-known in this field. The "Cotopia Social Responsibility Dialogue", held for the 2nd year in a row, seeks to bridge the gap between corporations on the one hand and social needs on the other, and to clear the mix-up between charitable works and social corporate responsibility. Key objectives of the event include spreading the culture of social responsibility, encouraging its practices among the society's members, highlighting its initiatives, discussing the problems facing them and suggesting solutions.
The second edition of "Cotopia Dialogue" is significantly innovative with a variety of activities ranging from personal face-to-face presentations and exhibitions showcasing collective experiences of teams and voluntary initiatives.
For his part, Youssif Al Obaidli, Director of Cotopia for Social Responsibility, said that the second round of "Cotopia Dialogue" was innovative as reflected in the diversity of its activities. "They included personal presentations featuring direct talk from citizens engaged in the field of social responsibility and exhibitions presenting collective experiences such as those of teams," he added.
"The live presentation of experiences provide a major incentive for the targeted audience and answers all relative questions and queries about social responsibility, especially in view of the traditional mix-up between it and charitable deeds, which many people consider part of social responsibility," said Al Obaidli.
One of the key speakers at the event was Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al Nuaimi, who is an environmental advisor to the Ajman Government and is known as the "Green Sheikh" due to his efforts to reach out to the young generation to promote their awareness about environmental sustainability.
Meanwhile, Jamila Al Zaabi, the first female Emirati, spoke about a visit made by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to her house in 2008 to inquire after her after she risked her life for offering medical aid to victims of a fire in the industrial area of Al Quoz in Dubai.
Dr. Obaid Al Jassim, Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Dubai Health Authority at Dubai's Health Authority, talked about an initiative to treat children with heart deformities for free, launched by the authority in cooperation with the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Charity and Humanitarian Foundation in 2007. The initiative has offered free medical treatment for hundreds of children in the UAE.
The event also helped integrate people with special needs into society by hosting more than handicapped people who have become prominent in the area of social services such as Dr. Ahmed Al Omran who holds a PhD degree in law and advocates the right of the disabled to life and equal opportunities, an effort based on his conviction that many of them have excelled others in many walks of life.
Known as the "Knight of Willpower", Majed al-Esseimy has overcome his physical disability by making athletic accomplishments including his win of the wheelchair silver at the 2009 World Disabled Championships in 2009. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has selected him as a member of the Dubai Sports Council. Minister of Culture Abdul- Rahman Al Oweis has also approved Al Esseimy’s proposal to set up a unit for the disabled welfare at the Youth and Sports Authority.
In addition, Hanan Heweir, and DWC graduates Heba Al Samt and Ayesha Al-Janahi, spoke about their initiative in 2009 to create “Emiratweet”, the FIRST Emirati Online Social Community for the Emirati by the Emirati, which sheds light on the UAE culture and identity with the aim of providing a platform about the UAE people and establishing a link between them and other cultures in the country.
An exhibition showcasing the Emirati CSR initiatives was held on the sidelines of the event with participation of several voluntary groups including Sanid; Takatuf (Interdependence); the Book Shelter; the 1971 Team; Think-up; "Dream, Seek and Achieve" Initiative; and the UAE Down Syndrome Association.