SUPREME NATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR VOLUNTEERISM DURING CRISES’ IN THE UAE

International Awards

Hamdan Award for Volunteers in Humanitarian Medical Services
2019-2020

On 04/05/2020, the UAE Cabinet approved the formation of the Supreme National Committee for Volunteerism during Crises as one of the initiatives to support community service activities, to provide the required support for volunteers and volunteering bodies and to coordinate their work. The committee, headed by H.H Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs And international cooperation, aims to develop an integrated and sustainable system for volunteer work in the UAE during crises in cooperation with all parties concerned with volunteer work in the UAE, including individuals and institutions. The committee includes in its membership Sheikh Dhiab bin Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, head of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court, as a Vice President, and a number of ministers and officials for continuous communication and coordination, with the aim of raising the efficiency of volunteer efforts and supporting the national response to the Covid-19 crisis.

The committee is responsible for supervising the work of volunteering bodies at the state level during crises, following up on the volunteers, ensuring their health and safety, and providing them with all necessary support, in addition to coordinating with local government and semi-government agencies to unify volunteer campaigns during crises. The committee has activated the platform "UAE_Volunteers.” as the main national platform for receiving and approving volunteer applications. It is noteworthy that the "volunteers.ae" platform, which is supervised by the Ministry of Community Development in partnership with the Emirates Foundation and under the umbrella of the Supreme National Committee for Volunteerism during Crises allows citizens and residents to participate and volunteer in the UAE, whether physically or virtually, which is considered an unprecedented Societal development and affirms the ability to give to mankind at any time and place.

The national campaign "UAE_Volunteers", which was launched in April 2020, is considered the first initiative of the "Supreme National Committee for Volunteerism during Crises" as part of its vision to organize volunteer work in the UAE and preserve the safety of volunteers and the health of the most affected groups in society, it also works to meet the needs of the concerned authorities, and strengthening the integration and cooperation between all government, private sector, and community entities in supporting the  national efforts to address the repercussions and challenges of crises such as the emerging corona virus pandemic “Covid- 19”.

The campaign cooperates with the National Emergency and Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, and it keeps a sustainable approach to enrich the platform with voluntary expertise and skills to meet any national needs in times of emergency.Since the onset of the pandemic, volunteers have provided support to the official authorities and for various bodies working in combating the pandemic, such as airports and borders, retail and commercial centers, and in prevention and community awareness, medical support such as hospitals, survey centers and field hospitals, the national sterilization program, the national survey initiative as well as for the third phase of clinical trials.

The first phase of the campaign resulted in a strong legacy of volunteering and in opening new horizons for volunteering at the virtual level. Many participated in providing support through various call centers, and organizing workshops and educational sessions on the pandemic, including for example the “Be-At-Home” platform,  AMAN ( Be safe ) program which was directed through a digital platform to encourage living a healthy life at home during global emergencies, as well as the JOSOOR (Bridges)program which is a mental health initiative aimed at uniting efforts to raise awareness about mental health and focuses on three mechanisms: communication, participation, and recovery together.

The volunteers worked to support the health call centers, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and the “Million Meal Campaign” called for by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, may God preserve him, in addition to dozens of virtual volunteer opportunities including the "We Are Your Own" hotline to check on senior citizens and the "psychological support line” to provide the necessary advice and support to the public.

The campaign showed the active participation of field volunteers and specialists, where 36078 from 150 nationalities had participated within one month since the start of the campaign. It also cooperates with several government agencies, such as the Ministry of Community Development, the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, the Ministry of Health and Protection, the Ministry of Education, the Department of Community Development in Abu Dhabi, Community Development Authority in Dubai, Abu Dhabi Health Department, the Dubai Health Authority, and many others.

For their contributions, the Supreme National Committee for Volunteerism during Crises is awarded the Hamdan Award for Volunteers in Humanitarian Medical Services for the term 2019-2020

 

 

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