As many as 10,000 students from low-income families will be receiving a school kit with essential stationery items, thanks to a Dubai Cares back-to-school initiative.
More than 300 volunteers gathered on Saturday to pack school bags with notebooks, pens, pencils, erasers and other school supplies as part of the annual 'Volunteer Emirates' initiative by Dubai Cares, which was sponsored by Union Coop.
The school kits will be distributed to students from low-income families that study at the Gulf Model School, HH Shaikh Rashid Pakistani School- Dubai, Radiant School Sharjah, Al Ihsan Charity Association, Al Rashidyah Private School - Ajman and Al Salaf Al Saleh Private School - RAK.
"To provide to 10,000 students who are short of school supplies, is going to give parents a peace of mind and the kids are going to have the required items. You can't ask kids to learn if they don't have the required tools. This is what my kids will also understand - Their bags are ready at home but that's not the case for many other kids," Yana Valeva told Khaleej Times, who was one of the volunteers at the event and also brought along her two children to help.
"I always take my kids with me because I believe that education starts from home. You need to educate them to make sure they appreciate all corners of life. They need to know from a young age that not everything is provided."
A Filipina expat, Ailene Perolino, was also volunteering and said providing children with the right education tools can help motivate them to build a better future for themselves and their families.
She said education is the main focus for people back in the Philippines as it can help them break out of the cycle of poverty.
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"This is a very good initiative for low-income families, especially because it is education-oriented. It will help the person receiving these kits to really value education and study hard," Perolino said.
A 14-year-old student, Rian Pinto, also spent his Saturday packing schoolbags for the less privileged.
"Bringing this stationery to these families will help them save the money and spend on other necessities for their education. If we already have access to education, it's our right and duty to contribute to the less fortunate," Pinto said.
The back-to-school kits for low-income families aim to ensure that students have the right tools to start the new academic year, the Dubai Cares CEO, Tariq Al Gurg has said.
"Following the success of our two Back to School editions of Volunteer Emirates which were organised in 2017, we are delighted to host another edition this year.
Our goal through this initiative is to ensure that children from low-income families feel well-equipped as they return to their classrooms with all the tools required to start their new academic year on an optimistic note," Al Gurg said.
By Sarwat Nasir
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