Some of the frontline heroes who received scholarships for their children under a government initiative have thanked Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and the UAE for supporting them and acknowledging their efforts during the pandemic.
More than 1,800 children of frontline healthcare workers have received scholarships under the Hayyakum grant scheme, which gives them access to high quality education in public schools across the UAE.
The initiative, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Frontline Heroes Office, seeks to reduce the financial stress many families experience, with the goal of retaining as many frontline workers as possible.
Parents and children thanked Sheikh Mohamed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and the UAE government in a video released on Sunday by the Frontline Heroes Office.
“In September 2020, I received the message that they have accepted my children in public schools. It was a feeling that I can't describe in words,” said Manal Ali Abdulrahan, a clinical resource nurse at Ambulatory Healthcare Services.
“Frontline Heroes gave us all pride to be working in the UAE.”
Suheir Abuhasnah, staff nurse, said, “I am very happy that my son was chosen to receive the scholarship and we know he is in safe hands.
“We are very grateful to the UAE government and leadership for making our lives much easier.”
Mohamed Hawas Alsadid, programmes director at Frontline Heroes Office, said the UAE's frontline heroes “deserve so much of the credit for driving the nation’s highly successful vaccination programme that is critical to our children’s safe return to the classroom”.
“We want the children of all of our frontline professionals to understand what true heroes and patriots their parents are and how much we appreciate their sacrifice and dedication,” said Mr Asladid.
“Through 'Hayyakum', we want to ensure these children also recognise the value we as a nation place on their education as the future leaders of our nation.
“We hope they will be inspired to follow in the footsteps of their parents, who are tremendous role models and seek out future careers where they can also be of service to this nation and make a genuine difference in people’s lives.”
The scholarships at public schools, which will run until the end of the school year, cover the cost of tuition, laptops and transport for pupils until they graduate from high school.
The Frontline Heroes Office was set up in July 2020, with more than 80,000 roles being deemed essential in the battle against Covid-19.
The project was created to pay tribute to the efforts and sacrifices of those working on the frontlines of the pandemic.
Among the 80,000 are healthcare practitioners, police, essential service providers, crisis managers, security and emergency service providers, humanitarian workers, cleaners and volunteers.
The government also launched the Fazaa Frontline Heroes initiative in October last year which gives healthcare workers discounts on 2,600 brands at more than 5,500 stores and 6,000 food outlets across the UAE.