Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund Launches Funding this September with widespread support including from His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Her Royal Highness Princess Haya bint Al Hussein
- 100 million AED Fund aims to empower children affected by wars and disasters in the UAE and refugee students in Jordan and Lebanon.
- On behalf of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region and Chairman of the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC), Dr. Mohammed Ateeq Al Falahi, Secretary General of ERC graciously thanked H.E. Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair for the generous initiative to help provide access to education for thousands of refugee children, who are out-of-school due to disasters and crises in their countries.
- UNICEF and Luminus Education in Jordan and Unite Lebanon Youth Project to receive grants to help refugee youth finish high school and learn a vocational trade or complete higher education.
- Fund to disburse 45 million AED in round one of three and to help 6,500 refugee youth.
Dubai – UAE :
17 September, 2018 – With widespread support, the Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund officially announced Round One of funding in Dubai today.
Established on World Refugee Day in June 2018, the Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund aims to disburse grants totaling AED100 million over three years to support the education of children affected by wars and disasters residing in the UAE and refugees in Jordan and Lebanon.
In his keynote speech addressing representatives from the beneficiary organizations and other dignitaries, His Excellency Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair said: “The culture of giving is a living legacy of the founding father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, carried on by our nation’s visionary leadership through their philanthropic work inside and outside our country. Inspired by their example and the belief that the private sector has a responsibility to contribute, I am affirming my commitment to help as many out-of-school refugee youth as I can get back into school so that they may begin working towards a better future for themselves and our region.”
The announcement coincides with the beginning of the new academic year. This September, the Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund is awarding AED45 million in direct funding to notable educational and humanitarian organizations to enable 6,500 refugee students to attend secondary school, vocational training, and university, as well as to acquire soft skills so that they can realize their aspirations for the future.
In applauding this initiative, HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai said “This generous philanthropic initiative by H.E. Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair to support the education of 6,500 Arab refugee children and youth in the first cycle will have a positive life changing impact on so many of those displaced, who have had their lives disrupted by conflict. Building knowledge and skills through education can transform their lives by creating a ladder of opportunity for a brighter future containing hope, ambition and aspiration”
Toby Howard, Head of the UNCHR office in the UAE, said : “With the number of displaced persons rising around the world, the international community has recognized that it is no longer enough to rely on humanitarian agencies to provide lifesaving support. New partners have to be engaged in the areas of education and livelihood. H.E. Abdel Aziz Al Ghurair is blazing a trail that we hope others will follow in providing opportunity and hope for refugees. UNHCR thanks HE Abdel Aziz Al Ghurair for this generous commitment. It is a great example of UN agencies, the Emirates Red Crescent, and private philanthropic institutions working together.”
Strong Implementing Partners
During the announcement event, His Excellency Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair announced the recipients of the first batch of funds. The beneficiaries were selected following a rigorous assessment process based on their achievements in implementing impactful programs in secondary, vocational, and university education in the UAE, Jordan, and Lebanon. The beneficiaries of Round One are the Emirates Red Crescent, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Luminus Education of Jordan, and Unite Lebanon Youth Project (ULYP).
In the UAE, the Fund will work with the Emirates Red Crescent in collaboration with the UNHCR to support the school fees of out-of-school children who are temporarily residing in the UAE due to conflict in their home countries. On behalf of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region and Chairman of the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC), Dr. Mohammed Ateeq Al Falahi, Secretary General of ERC graciously thanked His Excellency Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair for the generous initiative to help provide access to education for thousands of refugee children, who are out-of-school due to disasters and crises in their countries.
Dr Falahi mentioned that His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan highly valued initiatives by businessmen and private sector companies which endorse the role of the UAE in humanitarian aid and development aspects to mitigate the impact of crises and catastrophes. Dr Al Falahi reiterated: “The ERC’s partnership with Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education offers an opportunity for greater collaboration in humanitarian and development work, creating innovative solutions for many humanitarian issues affecting underprivileged communities.
Jordan and Lebanon Partnerships
In Jordan, the Fund will join forces with UNICEF to provide access to education for vulnerable students from grades 9-12 who are living in refugee camps or host communities and are currently out of school or at risk of dropping out. The program supports their enrollment and retention in public schools through remedial classes, life skills training and psychosocial counselling so that they can complete their education.
Luminus Education, another beneficiary of the first funding round, will use the grant to provide vocational training for refugee students in Jordan in high-demand fields, such as hybrid vehicle technology, pharma and ICT, as well as training in study skills, employability skills, and career readiness. The grant’s support will enable refugee youth to obtain accredited vocational certification.
In Lebanon, ULYP will utilize the grant to scale up support and counselling for refugee students to help them with secondary education and provide them with access to vocational training in areas such as physiotherapy, website design, and TV production. Through the funding, the organization also will help refugee students to pursue their higher education studies in areas such as clinical lab science, radiology and bioinformatics at universities in Lebanon
About the Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund
The Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund was established in 2018 to benefit refugee youth in Jordan, Lebanon and Arab children affected by wars and disasters residing in the United Arab Emirates. The Fund, the largest Arab private refugee education initiative, was established with100M AED and will provide grants for 3 years to support 6,500 beneficiaries in its first series of grants.
The Fund will support high impact education programs at the secondary, vocational and tertiary levels of education for refugee youth in Jordan and Lebanon. The grants provided by the fund will also support Arab children of families who due to wars and disasters, temporarily reside in the UAE but are unable to afford school fees. The Foundation will work with Emirati partners to facilitate access to public and non-profit schools and pay their school fees.
The Fund will be administered by the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education through awarding grants based on a competitive selection process to education institutions and non-governmental organizations working with refugee and conflict-affected children and youth. This first round of grants to partner organizations in Jordan, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates will be announced prior to the start of the new school year. The next call for proposals will be in early 2019.