Suraj, 14, spent part of his summer as a volunteer helping to build a school in his small Nepalese village of Sukumbasi Tole. Dubai Cares is funding the construction as part of its programme in the country. Courtesy Dubai Cares
Suraj, 14, spent part of his summer as a volunteer helping to build a school in his small Nepalese village of Sukumbasi Tole. Dubai Cares is funding the construction as part of its programme in the coShow more

Dubai Cares announces details of its Nepal school and literacy project

DUBAI // While many children around the world were building sandcastles by the sea over summer, Suraj helped to build a school in his village in western Nepal.

Suraj, 14, will be one of 150 children to study at the primary school when it is completed, thanks to funding from Dubai Cares.

“Children face a number of hurdles accessing education in a number of countries we work in,” said Dubai Cares programme manager Mona Tahboub.

“A lot of them, like Suraj, drop out of primary school and then restart their primary education at a later stage when education is made accessible.”

Suraj was forced to take on more responsibilities when his father left Nepal to work in India. He can return to school now that his father has begun to send money home.

His parents are uneducated but Suraj said he was determined to become a doctor or engineer.

“If I study I can be a successful person in the future,” he told Dubai Cares, in between digging the foundations, carrying rocks and filtering sand at the building site.

Dubai Cares teamed up with Build-On, an international non-profit organisation that builds schools in developing countries, for the project.

“Dubai Cares is covering the cost of construction of the school, which primarily uses professional workers,” said Mrs Tahboub.

“However, the local community is deeply committed to the school and supports the construction by volunteering their services.

“Their involvement has enhanced community commitment and cooperation at various levels.”

Construction of the school began last year in the small village of Sukumbasi Tole.

It is one of a handful of projects in which Dubai Cares is involved across the country to help boost literacy among children and adults and improve education.

Mrs Tahboub said the initiative would take three years to complete.

“As with all our programmes, we aim to transfer ownership of it to the local community, who will then be responsible for its continuation,” she said. “In most cases, it is an organic process as the community is already deeply involved in the execution of the programme.”

The programme aims to build 220 libraries with the help of Room to Read, an organisation aiming to promote literacy and gender equality in developing countries.

A Dubai Cares grant also funded the printing and distribution of 50,000 books covering five titles in the local language.

“Libraries have been shown to have a positive impact on literacy and reading skills,” said Mrs Tahboub.

“An extensive global study found that countries that support and fund school and classroom libraries have higher levels of reading skills in developed and developing countries.

“In addition, by providing access to supplemental reading materials, libraries promote vocabulary development and creative thinking, and increase student access to subjects and ideas beyond the classroom.”

The programme’s adult literacy activities will benefit about 5,000 adults, including teachers and officials, Dubai Cares said.

“The programme supports literacy classes for adults in rural areas,” said Mrs Tahboub. “This is in addition to employment prospects for educated adults who can contribute as teachers and project leaders.”


Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

The specs: 2018 Volkswagen Teramont

Price, base / as tested Dh137,000 / Dh189,950

Engine 3.6-litre V6

Gearbox Eight-speed automatic

Power 280hp @ 6,200rpm

Torque 360Nm @ 2,750rpm

Fuel economy, combined 11.7L / 100km


Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside


Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

Our legal advisor

Ahmad El Sayed is Senior Associate at Charles Russell Speechlys, a law firm headquartered in London with offices in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Hong Kong.

Experience: Commercial litigator who has assisted clients with overseas judgments before UAE courts. His specialties are cases related to banking, real estate, shareholder disputes, company liquidations and criminal matters as well as employment related litigation. 

Education: Sagesse University, Beirut, Lebanon, in 2005.


Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

The years Ramadan fell in May





The five pillars of Islam
UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024


Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).


Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).


Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

Company profile

Company name: Letswork
Started: 2018
Based: Dubai
Founders: Omar Almheiri, Hamza Khan
Sector: co-working spaces
Investment stage: $2.1 million in a seed round with investors including 500 Global, The Space, DTEC Ventures and other angel investors
Number of employees: about 20


Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

Where to submit a sample

Volunteers of all ages can submit DNA samples at centres across Abu Dhabi, including: Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre+(Adnec), Biogenix Labs in Masdar City, NMC Royal Hospital in Khalifa City, NMC Royal Medical Centre, Abu Dhabi, NMC Royal Women's Hospital, Bareen International Hospital, Al Towayya in Al Ain, NMC Specialty Hospital, Al Ain

Cultural fiesta

What: The Al Burda Festival
When: November 14 (from 10am)
Where: Warehouse421,  Abu Dhabi
The Al Burda Festival is a celebration of Islamic art and culture, featuring talks, performances and exhibitions. Organised by the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, this one-day event opens with a session on the future of Islamic art. With this in mind, it is followed by a number of workshops and “masterclass” sessions in everything from calligraphy and typography to geometry and the origins of Islamic design. There will also be discussions on subjects including ‘Who is the Audience for Islamic Art?’ and ‘New Markets for Islamic Design.’ A live performance from Kuwaiti guitarist Yousif Yaseen should be one of the highlights of the day. 

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