Abu Dhabi’s Ma’an outlines plans for how businesses can care for the less fortunate

Funds will open up education opportunities for children in low-income families and a mobile van offering dental care for workers free of charge

Abu Dhabi’s Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an – has delivered millions of meals to workers through its 'Together We Are Good' programme. Photo: Ma'an
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Ma'an, an Abu Dhabi organisation known for its community initiatives, has called for volunteers to support the less privileged with health care, education, training and job opportunities.

Salama Al Ameemi, Ma'an's director general, said the aim was to “foster a culture of giving” to assist low-income groups using their employer's corporate social responsibility budget.

Foster a culture of giving and make a long-term positive impact on the Abu Dhabi community
Salama Al Ameemi, director general of Ma’an

“Our aim is to consistently create a long-term meaningful social impact on the lives of Abu Dhabi residents – whether that be individuals, families, or communities across the emirate,” Ms Al Ameemi told The National.

“In addition to offering funds as contributions, individuals can make financial contributions or volunteer time.”

Ma’an collaborated with organisations across Abu Dhabi last year to create 58 community projects reaching more than 85,000 people.

Financial literacy to health

Philanthropists and companies can support programmes across the health, education, social, environmental and infrastructure sectors the Ma’an website states.

Corporations can choose from 30 initiatives that cover schemes such as financial literacy classes, fund-raising for orphans, providing education aid for children and offering health insurance for people with special needs.

“One of our latest initiatives is created in collaboration with Abu Dhabi University to establish a commercial building that will generate long-term annual income to help support students with financial difficulties,” Ms Al Ameemi said.

“Aiming to foster a culture of giving and making a long-term positive impact on the Abu Dhabi community, the project will feature a building in the Mafraq industrial area that will include shops, offices, and a marketplace that will support various beneficiaries.”

Other programmes include raising funds for a mobile clinic that will provide emergency and dental care for workers free of charge, building community parks and planting 10,000 mangroves.

The projects also provide training opportunities to people with special needs to equip them with skills for the workplace.

Formed in 2019 by the Department of Community Development in Abu Dhabi, Ma’an directs funding from the public and private sectors to address social challenges.

“As a key player in driving societal change in Abu Dhabi, we have a big responsibility to facilitate resources to meet the needs of the community, assess the resources required for it and deploy funds for a successful outcome,” Ms Al Ameemi added.

Bridge the gap

One of the major contributions received since Ma’an’s inception in 2019 has been from the Mubadala Investment Company.

Spread over programmes for non-profit organisations, the five-year project has already totalled Dh50 million.

“Ma’an works closely with the Department of Community Development in Abu Dhabi to identify the most pressing social priorities in the emirate,” Ms Al Ameemi said.

“We are always looking to embrace new areas that need support through our programmes and initiatives.”

During the Covid-19 pandemic, tens of thousands of meals were delivered every day as part of a programme funded by Ma’an so patients under isolation received nutritious meals.

Organisations from across the emirate offered assistance for the ‘Together we are good’ programme to alleviate the economic challenges faced during the outbreak.

The contributions given to Ma’an go directly to social programmes with no administrative fees.

Ms Al Ameemi said it was fulfilling to witness growing participation.

“As per our forecasts, we expect to see a considerable increase in contributions, just as we have seen in the last few years,” she said.

“In 2022, we experienced a significant increase in total contributions from companies as compared to 2021, with the value of all contributions reaching over Dh16 million.”

Ms Al Ameemi suggested businesses pick a cause based on their CSR budget to give back to the local community.

“Our aim is to bring together resources in the form of contributions from public and private sectors, as well as individuals to bridge gaps and develop strong, inclusive, and collaborative communities,” she said.

Updated: January 03, 2024, 3:00 AM