Dubai Cares country programme manager Mada Al Suwaidi, left, and public relations officer Bahaa Hamade receive a rousing welcome by the Serafin C. Rosero Memorial High School band. Photo courtesy of Dubai Cares
Dubai Cares country programme manager Mada Al Suwaidi, left, and public relations officer Bahaa Hamade receive a rousing welcome by the Serafin C. Rosero Memorial High School band. Photo courtesy of D

Parents welcome help to keep children in school

MILAGROS, PHILIPPINES // The parents of pupils who qualified for Dubai Cares grants to continue their education said they were “deeply grateful” for the assistance.

“I am deeply, deeply grateful to Dubai Cares for helping us,” said Gemma Tupaz, 50. “Out of my six children, one child has been selected for the programme. If it were not for the help of Dubai Cares, I’m sure he would’ve stopped school because we can’t pay for his education and his school needs.

“Because of the programme, we can now buy school supplies for him and allowance. I’m really, really grateful.”

Dubai Cares has allocated 350 grants to help pupils in primary schools make the transition to secondary schools in the provinces of Masbate and Northern Samar. The UAE philanthropic organisation has also awarded more than 500 school assistance grants to high-school pupils in those two provinces who are currently in school but are at risk of dropping out because they can’t afford supplies, food or transport.

The transition grants and assistance are meant to achieve two of three main objectives outlined by Dubai Cares and its partner, Plan Philippines, as part of their Raise project – to increase the number of primary school graduates and ensure they move on to and finish four years of secondary school.

The grants are each worth 2,100 Philippines pesos (about Dh172) and are awarded to the pupil’s family in two instalments, at the beginning and middle of the school year. They can be used to cover transport, food, school supplies or fees.

“Most of these families are living below the poverty level, their homes are very dilapidated – they’re huts made of nipa – and they are living far from the schools,”

Raise project manager Ailyn Nabi said: “The number of siblings, they have five or more. The situation of parents, most of them are illiterate and then the income of the family, most of them engage in farming with very minimal income. There are also instances where some of the siblings married early, teenage pregnancies. We encounter also that situation.”

Dubai Cares leaves it up to the qualifying families to decide what kind of grant they wish to receive.

“We never tell them, we never dictate to them what to choose, they express what kind of assistance they want,” said Ms Nabi.

Mary Aganan, 53, a mother of four who has two school-age children who are receiving Dubai Cares grants, was also thankful for the assistance. Without it, she couldn’t afford to send her 17-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son to school. Her family lives day-to-day, she said.

“I keep praying, I pray all the time that my husband will have a job every day because if he doesn’t work for a day, we won’t have money.

“It’s a daily wage. So if he doesn’t have a job, we won’t have money to buy rice,” said Mrs Aganan, whose husband earns a daily wage of about 150 pesos, about Dh12, when he can find work as a farm hand.

The family maintains a small vegetable garden to supplement their food. “We are really, really poor. But I am grateful for the help that they are giving because at least I can send my kids to school and I hope by the time they finish they’ll be able to help us as well.”

About 70 per cent of Raise’s beneficiaries are girls, as the programme is aimed at improving girls’ access to education, said John Diviva, national programming manager for Plan Philippines.

“Without our intervention some of those children, especially the girls, would not be going to school,” Mr Diviva said. “By bringing them into school, you’re already starting to make a difference in their lives.”

Pots for the Asian Qualifiers

Pot 1: Iran, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, China
Pot 2: Iraq, Uzbekistan, Syria, Oman, Lebanon, Kyrgyz Republic, Vietnam, Jordan
Pot 3: Palestine, India, Bahrain, Thailand, Tajikistan, North Korea, Chinese Taipei, Philippines
Pot 4: Turkmenistan, Myanmar, Hong Kong, Yemen, Afghanistan, Maldives, Kuwait, Malaysia
Pot 5: Indonesia, Singapore, Nepal, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Mongolia, Guam, Macau/Sri Lanka

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Important questions to consider

1. Where on the plane does my pet travel?

There are different types of travel available for pets:

  • Manifest cargo
  • Excess luggage in the hold
  • Excess luggage in the cabin

Each option is safe. The feasibility of each option is based on the size and breed of your pet, the airline they are traveling on and country they are travelling to.


2. What is the difference between my pet traveling as manifest cargo or as excess luggage?

If traveling as manifest cargo, your pet is traveling in the front hold of the plane and can travel with or without you being on the same plane. The cost of your pets travel is based on volumetric weight, in other words, the size of their travel crate.

If traveling as excess luggage, your pet will be in the rear hold of the plane and must be traveling under the ticket of a human passenger. The cost of your pets travel is based on the actual (combined) weight of your pet in their crate.


3. What happens when my pet arrives in the country they are traveling to?

As soon as the flight arrives, your pet will be taken from the plane straight to the airport terminal.

If your pet is traveling as excess luggage, they will taken to the oversized luggage area in the arrival hall. Once you clear passport control, you will be able to collect them at the same time as your normal luggage. As you exit the airport via the ‘something to declare’ customs channel you will be asked to present your pets travel paperwork to the customs official and / or the vet on duty. 

If your pet is traveling as manifest cargo, they will be taken to the Animal Reception Centre. There, their documentation will be reviewed by the staff of the ARC to ensure all is in order. At the same time, relevant customs formalities will be completed by staff based at the arriving airport. 


4. How long does the travel paperwork and other travel preparations take?

This depends entirely on the location that your pet is traveling to. Your pet relocation compnay will provide you with an accurate timeline of how long the relevant preparations will take and at what point in the process the various steps must be taken.

In some cases they can get your pet ‘travel ready’ in a few days. In others it can be up to six months or more.


5. What vaccinations does my pet need to travel?

Regardless of where your pet is traveling, they will need certain vaccinations. The exact vaccinations they need are entirely dependent on the location they are traveling to. The one vaccination that is mandatory for every country your pet may travel to is a rabies vaccination.

Other vaccinations may also be necessary. These will be advised to you as relevant. In every situation, it is essential to keep your vaccinations current and to not miss a due date, even by one day. To do so could severely hinder your pets travel plans.

Source: Pawsome Pets UAE

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