A yellow cartoon character called Hadaaf in the guise of a football-shaped money box is to kick off a football-themed fund-raising drive next week to aid eight children's charities. Some 100,000 money boxes are to be handed out to children from Thursday next week in shopping malls across the country as part of the campaign, called Let's Save for a Noble Goal.
The money-raising drive will include the auction of a royal football in September. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, are among 11 members of the Royal family to have signed it. The campaign was dreamt up last year when the Austrian and Swiss ambassadors, Gerald Kriechbaum and Wolfgang Amadeus Bruelhart, were given a Euro Championship 2008 football and took it on a tour of the emirates, asking sheikhs to sign it at each stop.
The royal football and two lots of tickets to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, are to be auctioned off at a gala dinner at the Emirates Palace hotel on September 28. The campaign culminates in the first week of October when the Hadaaf money boxes will be handed in and the money raised will be distributed to the charities. "The name Hadaaf, which means scorer in Arabic, fits well with the concept of the whole campaign, connecting the football principle of scoring and reminding that with a team spirit together we can score a noble goal," said Mr Kriechbaum.
Jude al Qubaisi, 10, the first child to receive a Hadaaf money box, said she was going to add to it every time she got her pocket money. The charities to benefit are: Al Ain Paediatrics Department; Abu Dhabi's Special Care Centre; Dubai's Al Noor Training Centre for Children with Special Needs; the Emirates Association for the Blind, in Sharjah; Umm al Qaiwain's Umm Al Quora School; a rehabilitation centre in Ajman for the disabled; the Privacy Centre in Ras al Khaimah; and Fujairah's Private Academy School.