Abu Dhabi launches community drive to 'enrich lives' in Golden Jubilee year

Authority of Social Contribution, known as Ma’an, was formed to foster a more selfless society

Abu Dhabi, October, 14 2019: H.E Salama Al Ameemi, Director General Authority for Social Contribution-Ma'an gestures during the interview in Abu Dhabi. Satish Kumar/ For the National / Story by Daniel Sanderson

Abu Dhabi pledged to bring its multicultural community together in celebration of the UAE’s milestone Golden Jubilee this year.

The emirate’s Authority of Social Contribution, known as Ma’an, laid out its vision to bolster social inclusion in 2021 and deliver a helping hand to those less fortunate.

The authority will introduce a number of initiatives aimed at forging an even greater sense of community spirit among those who call Abu Dhabi home.

Work will include fundraising for the National Programme for Organs and Tissue Donation and a campaign to support orphans in the capital.

UAE gears up for Year of the 50th:

The efforts coincide with the country’s Year of the 50th, declared by President Sheikh Khalifa, which will run from Tuesday until March 31 next year.

“In the space of two years, we have taken big strides forward in achieving excellent results when it comes to creating social impact and it is imperative we build on this platform, beginning now in what is an important year for the whole of the UAE with the Year of the 50th celebrations,” said Salama Al Ameemi, director general of Ma’an.

“Based on the findings from the United Nations Economic and Social Council report, the UAE has the highest demographic diversity in the world at 87 per cent and with Abu Dhabi becoming increasingly diverse, the importance of fostering social inclusion will grow.”

Ma’an was established in 2019 by the Department of Community Development and came to the fore last year to support those hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

It organised a humanitarian campaign in May to deliver 100,000 food baskets to people struggling due to the financial fallout of the outbreak.

“Through our programmes that we will launch this year, we aim to bring everyone together and give every Abu Dhabi resident from different walks of life an opportunity to be part of making a meaningful difference and feel valued and respected at the same time,” Ms Al Ameemi said.

“We have seen how government, private and third-sector organisations have stepped up in times of need and these collaborative efforts have so far helped strengthen Abu Dhabi’s position to work and live in. With a more socially inclusive society, we can help raise everyone’s standard of living and enrich lives economically as well as socially and culturally.”

Ma’an has created an online community through Let’s Connect, a 10-week virtual programme which uses social media focused on health, business and coaching, community and the arts.

Through social investments, it is hoped the programmes will foster community engagement, create volunteering opportunities and encourage a culture of participation and giving.

Since its launch, Ma’an has identified and forged strategic partnerships with organisations in the government, private and third sectors.

More than 15,000 people, including some with disabilities, have benefited from services and products created by 45 teams, and a group of students of determination are undertaking an employment programme.

Ma’an has also created a number of volunteering opportunities, such as its Journey of Generations programme, which is focused on young people spending time with senior citizens.

Last year, more than 400,000 people benefitted from basic support such as food, education and medical aid as part of the Together We Are Good programme. It received more than Dh1 billion worth of in-kind and financial contributions from Abu Dhabi communities.