Year of Giving inspired by example of Founding Father Sheikh Zayed

The initiative, which was announced by the President Sheikh Khalifa on Saturday, will focus on preparing younger generations that are ambitious and show pride in their identity.

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ABU DHABI // Embedding a responsibility for a deep sense of giving within society will be among the main aims of a major campaign announced for the new year.

The Year of Giving 2017 seeks to reinforce the desire of Sheikh Zayed, the Founder of the UAE, in developing a culture of social responsibility, reports government news agency Wam.

“In the UAE, we are combining our efforts in generous giving and remain united to achieve one goal – sowing the seeds of giving to promote happiness for all humanity,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

The initiative, which was announced by the President Sheikh Khalifa on Saturday, will focus on preparing younger generations that are ambitious and show pride in their identity.

It has three main pillars: creating a sense of community responsibility in the private sectors, enhancing the spirit of volunteering and encouraging specialised volunteer programmes, as well as instilling loyalty and commitment in the next generation to serve their country.

The UAE’s achievements would not have been possible without the philanthropy and far sighted vision of the country’s Founder, as well as the country’s policies strongly upholding humanitarian principles, said Sheikh Mohammed.

“The Year of Giving is being embraced by the UAE as a continuous approach to promoting the values of volunteering and community responsibility so as to bolster cohesion and solidarity of society,” he said.

“This approach inspires a roadmap for a state that was founded on the principles of promoting generous giving and human dignity and establishing the values of tolerance and co-operation.”

The announcement has been met with widespread support.

“What the UAE leadership seeks is to nurture the seedling planted by the forefathers in the UAE and instilled in the minds of its people so as to keep them in harmony, solidarity and love and empower them to rush to the help of all those in distress anywhere in the world,” said Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region and President of the Emirates Red Crescent.

Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs, said the announcement was the best beginning to the new year.

“It is a country that was founded on giving back, and is being led by leaders who are giving back and presenting a model for the youth to follow,” she said.

The minister called upon the youth of the country to respond to the declaration and calls of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, to promote the culture of giving back.

“The UAE youth are leaders of generous giving, promoting giving back, and serving their nation in all domains,” she said.

The UAE would remain a philanthropic leader thanks to the efforts being exerted by its wise leadership and the people’s loyalty to the principles upheld by the founding fathers, she said.​

Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, said the Year of Giving ushers in a new year and new milestones in terms of charity, nationalism and volunteerism.

“It will help reinforce the strong values adopted by the UAE since its initial founding, while at the same time setting its eyes firmly on the future and the potential of the UAE to enhance its position and become one of the world’s leading and most developed nations.

“We are confident that the three main themes, strengthening social responsibility in the private sector, promoting spirit of volunteerism, and strengthening the concept of serving the nation in the new generations, announced by Sheikh Khalifa will be a strong catalyst for change. With hard work and determination, the public and private sectors and aided by the individuals, can help serve this beloved country and promote the value of social responsibility.”