Social groups offered up to Dh500,000

Worthy causes seeking to get off the ground or expand can apply for grants from the Emirates Foundation.

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ABU DHABIi // Worthy causes seeking to get off the ground or expand can apply for up to Dh500,000 (US$136,000) from the Emirates Foundation, which is preparing the third year of its annual civil society grants. The grants go to projects that directly benefit society. Last year's recipients included a nursing group, a women's taxi project, a drug rehabilitation centre and a volunteer training initiative.

The grants are meant to strengthen the "national civil voice and help civil organisations become more sustainable". "The grants competition has been a great success," said Khuloud al Nuwais, the foundation's director of projects. "For 2010, it will help us select five civil society organisations, providing them each with a maximum grant of Dh500,000 over a maximum of two years." The grants will cover the costs of training, improving services, institutional strengthening and other areas that contribute to the "effectiveness and sustainability of the organisation".

Dr Mona al Bahar, the senior executive manager of the foundation's social development programme, said: "This project is relevant to the mission of the foundation to develop Emirati leadership, capacity and social progress, and build bridges between the private and public sector." Application forms can be obtained via the foundation's website. The closing date is May 2.