Dubai, UAE: Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s ENGAGE Dubai initiative has organised its largest and most prestigious employee volunteering initiative Give & Gain Day in UAE on May 19. Managed by the Chamber’s Centre for Responsible Business, the global event is organised in cooperation with Business in the Community (BITC) UK. Last year over 31,000 volunteers in 36 countries took part globally.
Participating for the sixth year running, ENGAGE Dubai mobilised employees to volunteer during work hours in communities to make a real difference on the issues that matter to the business community, schools, universities, local charities and community groups.
This time over 760 volunteers from 26 ENGAGE Dubai Corporate Members spent over 1,600 volunteering hours to support over 1,200 individuals through community projects organized by 20 community organizations. Compared to last year 27% more volunteers participated through various venues in Dubai, Sharjah and Fujairah.
Dr. Belaid Rettab, Senior Director, Economic Research and Sustainable Business Development Sector, Dubai Chamber, stated that the Give & Gain Day is a celebration of the power and potential of employee volunteering across the world. This initiative comes as part of Dubai Chamber’s efforts to promote responsible business and to spread a culture of corporate social responsibility as well as to spark the desire to adopt voluntary work amongst the business community.
“The idea behind the event is also to encourage companies to work jointly with like-minded organisations as the expertise and time employee volunteers give to communities go on to make a difference in the lives of the various sections of the society who deserve and need this type of support,” he said.
Alex Malouf, Corporate Communications Manager, Arabian Peninsula, Procter & Gamble (P&G), said: “It is important to us, both as a company and as employees that we give back to the community. We’ve always found ENGAGE Dubai to be the ideal partner, in terms of bringing together the corporate world with local not-for-profits to support initiatives such as volunteering. We’d like to thank Dubai Chamber for our participation and everything that they have done to support volunteering in Dubai.”
Added said Col. M.L. Augustine (Retd), Managing Director – STS, “It was indeed a great experience for STS to take part in our very first Give & Gain Day. Employee Volunteering is very important to the STS CSR strategy. Our staff are proud to have the opportunity to support the local community. Through our Employee Volunteering program, we aim to demonstrate a strong commitment to the community and the environment as well as increase the commitment and motivation among our staff.”
Give & Gain Day is an opportunity for companies to raise awareness of their programmes and to promote their community investment activity amongst their employees while growing their employee volunteering numbers besides harnessing the skills and energy of their workforce to help support the community.
Engage Dubai has worked with its Community Partners to come up with some great projects that companies can just sign up to including Give a Ghaf tree planting program, Stationary drive, Baking /Weaving/ Mosaic painting/Jewellery Making with Special Needs children, Painting with Special Needs Artists, Job shadowing for cancer survivors, Boats Cleaning for Special Needs, Gifts for children in labour camps, Career workshop for students, site visit for students, school fun activities, and Blood donation drive.
The ENGAGE Dubai participating corporate members included Al Futtaim Carillion, BLUE, Canon ME, CBS UAE, CHEP Middle East, Dafnia Middle East FZ LLC, DP World, du, Dubai Chamber, Dulsco, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, General Electric, ITP Publishing Group, Laing O’Rourke Middle East (Holdings) Ltd Dubai, Mashreq, Michelin AIM FZE, Procter & Gamble (P&G), QBG, RAKBANK, School Transport Services LLC (STS), Standard Chartered Bank, Summertown Interiors, THE One Total Home Experience, TNT Express, and ZAFCO FZCO.
The participating community partners included Friends of Cancer Patients, Goumbook, Action Care, Manzil Center, Mawaheb from Beautiful People, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders, Education4all, Pure Heart 4 Cancer, SmartLife Foundation, University of Dubai, Room to Read (Gift of Education), Al Noor Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities, The Angel Appeal, 4get-me-not Alzheimer’s, and Rising Sun Center for Special Needs – Fujairah.
Set up in November 2008 by the Centre for Responsible Business, ENGAGE Dubai is an international programme, which brings together businesses and community organisations around in Dubai to increase the quality and amount of employee community engagement in their local communities. The ENGAGE programme has been established since 2002 in London by Business in the Community (BITC) and is operating in other major cities such as Paris, Frankfurt, Istanbul, and Hong Kong.