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A total of 800 Zayed University students aim to raise Dh100,000 for underprivileged refugees

03 Mar 2015

In an effort to encourage young Emiratis to become more socially responsible, a total of 800 students along with Zayed University faculty and staff were engaged in a service-learning project that aims to ease Syrian and Palestinian refugees’ burden on Monday on Zayed University’s Abu Dhabi campus.

Action 2015 is a co-curricular project based on the ABP’s curriculum that has a focus on the topic of Humanitarian Aid. The aim of this service-learning project is for students, male and female, to further understand what a humanitarian crisis is and how they can by providing humanitarian relief where it is needed most.

Under the slogan of “what we can do when disaster strikes”, students of the Academic Bridge Program (ABP) gathered with the aim to raise Dh100,000 for Syrian and Palestinian vulnerable refugees of the Syrian civil war.

Fatima Bin Hamouda, a Zayed University graduate, inaugurated Action 2015 opening ceremony with a speech delivered at one of the university halls on behalf of Sheikha Shama Bint Khalifa Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, President of Alumni Association Board at Zayed University.

The event was also attended by Dr. Marilyn Roberts, the Acting Provost, and Shamsa Al Taie, Director of Students Affairs at Zayed University.

“It is not surprising to see the UAE ranked as one of the world’s most generous countries. Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s humanitarian achievements will remain in the annals of history and the hearts of Emiratis for centuries and Zayed University is just following on the footsteps of the late founding father, and President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who positioned the UAE on the frontline of humanitarian aid,” Prof. Reyadh AlMehaideb, Vice President of Zayed University, said.

“Therefore, Action 2015 came as a successful implementation of humanitarian strategies in the UAE. It is a research project in which social responsibility is a key skill. The event is focused on preparing students for life beyond campus and teaching them how to give back to their community,” he added.

The five-day event, which has started on Sunday and will end on Thursday, saw many students organizing fund raising activities such as bake sales, t-shirt sales and an ABP walkathon.

The Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) will distribute the funds raised. ERC works to promote the spirit of solidarity and compassion among members of the community. It provides humanitarian aid for disabled and establishes developmental projects for vulnerable people to keep them safe and protect their dignity.

“The project aims to engage and teach young students how to be part in service learning activities. It is not only about raising funds, it is about teaching them how to be socially responsible and give back to their community,” Jay Trimiar, an instructor at ABP and the project organizer, said.

Students expressed their excitement for being effective members of Action 2015.

“We are already selling tickets for 1km walkathon, which will start on Wednesday. So far, many students have shown a great interest in participating. Funds, which will be raised from walkathon tickets, can alleviate the suffering of thousands of refugees,” Asma Al Shamsi and Khawla Al Zaabi, ABP students, said.

It is worth mentioning that ABP Action campaign raised an amount of Dh109,000 in 2013 for underprivileged Syrian refugees.