Dubai Cares’ engagements in 2021 strengthen international education agendas

Dubai Cares’ engagements in 2021 strengthen international education agendas

Dubai Cares’ engagements in 2021 strengthen international education agendas

DUBAI, 9th February, 2022 – Marking a series of key milestones in its 14-year-long journey within 60 developing countries, Dubai Cares, a civil society organisation formally associated with the United Nations Department of Global Communications, concluded 2021 with several global achievements that have enhanced its position as an active advocate for global education transformation.

Despite challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, Dubai Cares, part of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, launched new key initiatives and programmes that have together contributed towards its vision of being a leading global force driving the transformation of education and learning towards a prosperous and sustainable future for all.

Commenting on Dubai Cares’ achievements in 2021, Dr.

Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman of Dubai Cares, said, “2021 will be remembered as a historic year not only for Dubai Cares, but also for the UAE and the education sector as a whole.

Our achievements over the past year proudly represent our leadership’s enduring commitment to being a proactive global voice for education transformation.

The world has long suffered the consequences of a broken and outdated education system.

With all the initiatives we embarked upon last year, the UAE has strengthened its role in the global education community as a tireless champion for a better future for our children and youth.

“It is marked by the resounding success of initiatives such as the RewirEd Summit among our other key engagements.

Our Founder, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, was the driving force behind the innovative engagements that made 2021 the most successful year to date for Dubai Cares.

His vision resonated as an inspiration for us to push the boundaries and deliver the best solutions that can give children and youth globally the future they deserve.

Inviting the world for a journey into the future of education, skilling and work
The Dubai Cares Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai opened its doors to the world on the 1st October 2021 under the theme “The Future is Human”.

The one-of-a-kind experience has been inviting visitors of all ages, including children, youth, parents, educators, high-level delegates and people from all walks of life, to go through an immersive and interactive journey into the future of education, skilling and work.

The Dubai Cares pavilion engages visitors in a journey that will tell Dubai’s story of coming together and creating a movement that continues, to make a difference in the world.

Through its various zones, the pavilion has helped instil a deeper understanding of the importance of learning at multiple stages of development and allowed visitors to learn more about what the future holds for the coming generations and the skills required for the jobs of tomorrow.

The pavilion attracted 74,488 international and local visitors in 2021 and hosted 4,641 students from more than 250 schools who participated in the educational workshops organised by Dubai Cares.

Furthermore, the pavilion welcomed 874 school visits in 2021, allowing teachers and students the opportunity to debunk myths around learning and enjoy a sneak peek into the future of education and the skills of the future.

In addition, the pavilion hosted 47 events on various topics, including education, girls’ empowerment, skilling, and many more.

Moreover, 58 delegations including UN representatives, government officials, high-level dignitaries and private institutions were also hosted at the pavilion.

The Dubai Cares Pavilion’s sponsors include LG Electronics, Skechers, Audi, Zand and Al Gurg Consultants.

RewirEd Summit recognised as newest hub for high-level global education transformation discussions
Bringing together 2,810 in-person and 1,376 virtual participants from more than 90 countries, the three-day-long RewirEd Summit from 12th to 14th December, 2021, at Expo 2020 Dubai firmly established the UAE’s place on the world map as an important global hub for high-level discussions on the future of education.

With three key themes under focus, namely Youth, Skills and the Future of Work; Innovation in Education; and Education Financing, the summit featured 500 international speakers, including 38 current and former presidents, heads-of-state and ministers to deliberate on critical but largely overlooked topics related to education that would help shape the future course of the education ecosystem.

Some high-level participants included Prince of Monaco, H.

S.

H.

Prince Albert II; President of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Sahle-Work Zewde; President of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi; President of Kenya, former United Kingdom Prime Minister and United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown; Uhuru Kenyatta; Chair of the Board of Directors of Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and former President of Tanzania, Jakaya Kikwete and Former President of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid; Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations; and Reem Al Hashemy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai.

In addition, high-level representatives from RewirEd Summit’s strategic partners namely UNESCO, UNICEF, the Office of the UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Global Partnership for Education (GPE), the World Bank, the World Economic Forum (WEF), the World Food Programme (WFP), UNHCR, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), and Education Cannot Wait (ECW) were also present at the event alongside the Education Commission and Generation Unlimited.

The summit featured the launch of key initiatives such as the “Passport to Earning”, the “RewirEd Global Declaration on Connectivity for Education” and the “Sharjah Child Friendly School and Nurseries Toolkit” alongside high-level discussions focusing on the systemic level changes required for a complete overhaul of the education ecosystem.

The summit also witnessed the launch of UNESCO Futures of Education report, which acknowledges the power of education to bring about profound change.

The summit was also marked by the “Innovating Education in Africa Pitch” which saw five of Africa’s most promising education innovators put forward their ideas.

The awardees will see their innovations implemented as pilot projects in African countries.

In addition, the summit hosted the RewirEd Provocations Award Ceremony, where a select number of experiments were awarded seed funding to develop further and roll-out experiments in the education sector.

The outcomes of the RewirEd Summit will be captured in an outcomes report, led by the Education Commission, which will feed into the Transforming Education Summit, due to be convened by the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres in September 2022.

The report will highlight the case for investment and a clear call to action in the countdown to 2030.

Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations said, “I thank Dubai Cares and partners for bringing us together at this crucial time.

The COVID-19 pandemic risks turning a global learning crisis into a generational catastrophe that undermines decades of progress and threatens our collective efforts to achieve the SDGs by 2030.

But this crisis also presents us with an opportunity to close the equity gap, reach the most vulnerable, invest in girls’ education and end the learning poverty.

“As the first of its kind in-person event since the start of the pandemic, the RewirEd Summit proved to be a milestone gathering that brought together some of the most influential new and traditional voices from the global education community to contribute insights, share knowledge and lend their expertise to an urgent and highly timely conversation on the way forward,” Dr.

Al Gurg added.

The RewirEd Summit was led by Dubai Cares, in partnership with Expo 2020 Dubai and in close coordination with the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC), and delivered with global stakeholders.

Calling on global humanitarian and development community to place human dignity at heart of storytelling
Upholding the UAE’s vision of furthering human dignity worldwide, the UAE-based global philanthropic organisation launched Dignified Storytelling in May 2021 along with Expo 2020 Dubai and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC).

Dubai Cares hosted the Dignified Storytelling Forum on Human Rights Day (10th December, 2021) at Expo 2020 Dubai, convening more than 25 speakers from various sectors to discuss the importance of dignified storytelling in policy and practice at individual and country levels under the theme, “A story can change the world.

The Dignified Storytelling Handbook was launched during the Forum.

Key speakers included Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of Expo 2020 Dubai; Maher Nasser, Commissioner-General of the UN at Expo 2020 Dubai and the Director of Outreach Division in the UN Department of Global Communications; Rashid Al Falahi, UAE Chief Storyteller and Member of Dignified Storytelling’s Advisory Committee; Dr.

Rebecca Swift, Senior Director and Global Head of Creative Insights, Getty Images; Joung-Ah Ghedini-Williams, Head of Global Communications at UNHCR; Nassib Boueri, CEO, Wunderman Thompson MENA; Elisabetta Lattanzio Illy, Journalist and Photographer (UNIDO Goodwill Ambassador); John Hecklinger, CEO, Global Fund for Children among others.

Dubai Cares and Expo 2020 Dubai also co-hosted five events on dignified storytelling that focused on: Working Together to Safeguard our Collective Future; Stories of Great Ambition and Hope; Local Stories that Empower, Improve and Transform; Placing Human Dignity at the Heart of Storytelling; and Teaching Information Literacy in the age of Digital Media.

Making universal access to digital connectivity a reality for all
Drawing on lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, Day 3 of the RewirEd Summit saw the launch of the “RewirEd Global Declaration on Connectivity for Education” developed by UNESCO in partnership with Dubai Cares.

Fully aligned with both the “UN Secretary-General Roadmap for Digital Cooperation” and the recently announced “Our Common Agenda” report by the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, the declaration was endorsed by several global multi-stakeholder groups.

Expanding its portfolio with addition of six new programmes
The year 2021 continued to be a challenging year for all sectors, including the humanitarian and development space.

However, Dubai Cares continued on its mission to ensure that learning and education for children and youth is at the centre of human development efforts by strengthening its educational portfolio by adding six new global education programmes.

With the addition of Dubai Cares’ education investments in 2021, the UAE-based global philanthropic organisation reached more than 21 million individuals in 60 developing countries since its inception, bringing the total number of programmes to 233.

In 2021 specifically, Dubai Cares invested a total of AED125,912,606 (US$34.

276 million) towards global education across several key components including the launch of six new programmes worth AED17,916,908 ($4.

877 million).

These new programmes covered various themes including Youth Skills and the Future of Work, and School Health and Nutrition.

Another commitment in 2021 was AED36,033,328 ($9.

809 million) towards the organisation’s global advocacy efforts.

Dubai Cares continued its support to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) by pledging AED9,183,750 ($2.

5 million) for the “Case for Investment”, as part of the “Raise Your Hand” campaign, which aims to create systemic change that will help transform education in 90 lower-income countries and territories.

Additionally, Dubai Cares renewed its partnership with TheirWorld by funding the “Unlocking Big Change in Education” initiative, which focuses on mobilising funding, leveraging new partners and facilitating collective action to catalyse global progress towards SDG4, particularly for vulnerable children in emergency contexts.

Dubai Cares continued its support to update the Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) Minimum Standards.

In the year 2021, Dubai Cares launched four research programmes for a total commitment of AED9,363,586 ($2.

549 million), bringing the total number of active research programmes to 23.

The portfolio of research programmes focuses on multiple thematics, including Education Technology, Education in Emergencies, Early Childhood Development, Girls Education, Quality Basic Education and Youth Skills and the Future of Work.

These programmes include: “Dissemination of Evidence-Based EdTech Innovations at Dubai Cares Expo 2020 Pavilion”, in addition to three programmes under E-Cubed including a multi-country programme, one in El Salvador, Honduras, and Colombia and the third one in Sierra Leone.

Encouraging support for education from local community
In 2021, Dubai Cares launched an online fundraising platform on its website to encourage digital giving, by inviting residents from within the UAE and beyond to help people in need, take action in an emergency, or celebrate an occasion like a birthday or wedding by inviting friends and family to donate in support of children’s education rather than usual gifts.

The unique platform allows fundraisers to choose the cause they would like to support, such as Adopt a School, Water Sanitation and Hygiene, School Feeding, Early Childhood Development, Youth Empowerment, Girls Education and Teacher Training, amongst others.

Providing safe volunteering opportunities for local community
Despite the ongoing health crisis, volunteers remained committed to supporting Dubai Cares activities by participating in key events including the RewirEd Talks, RewirEd Summit, Dubai Cares Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai and Volunteer Emirates (School Kits Packing and School Refurbishment).

The organisation also participated in two high-level events including International Association for Volunteer Effort’s (IAVE) Global Volunteering Leadership Summit held in partnership with Emirates Foundation and Emirates School Establishments’ annual work placement strategy webinar to further strengthen the UAE’s position as a civic leader.

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