Emiratis return from US after helping to rebuild home destroyed by Hurricane Sandy

The volunteers travelled to Sea Bright, a working-class area, to help rebuild a home completely destroyed in the storm, which struck the east coast of the United States in autumn 2012.

ABU DHABI // Twelve volunteers have returned from a humanitarian mission in New Jersey to renovate a home destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.

The volunteers travelled to Sea Bright, a working-class area, to help rebuild a home razed in the storm, which struck the east coast of the US in autumn, 2012.

Their eight-day mission was part of the Emirates Foundation for Youth Development’s Takatof programme.

They worked alongside local volunteers to build the house’s foundation, frame and scaffolding, the Emirates Foundation said.

They were collaborating with Habitat for Humanity Monmouth County, a non-profit organisation that builds affordable housing.

Dina Long, mayor of Sea Bright, and local police met the Takatof volunteers.

“The UAE is honoured to lend its assistance in rebuilding these great communities,” said Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE ambassador to the US. “Over the past year, we have witnessed New Jersey’s courage and determination as its citizens worked tirelessly to restore their homes and schools.

The programme’s success shows the enthusiasm of UAE youth who volunteer, said Maytha Al Habsi, the foundation’s chief programmes officer. “As we welcome the volunteers back home, we applaud the effort they have put in to help those in need,” Ms Al Habsi said.

The volunteers also participated in the annual UAE National Sheikh Zayed Kidney Run in New York’s Central Park on May 10.

Proceeds from the run, held in memory of the founding President, go towards research on kidney disease.

The Emirates Foundation was founded in 2005 as an initiative of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

Hurricane Sandy made landfall in New Jersey after hitting Jamaica and Cuba, causing the most damage there and in New York.

Thirty-eight people died in New Jersey in the storm, which caused unprecedented damage amounting to US$40 billion (Dh146.92bn). Hundreds of thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed.

Sea Bright had a population of about 1,400 before the storm.

The state’s coastal towns rely on summer tourism to their beaches, many of which were damaged by the storm.

newsdesk@thenational.ae

Published: May 20, 2014 04:00 AM

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