GE Volunteers During the UAE’s Year of Giving
When the students at the National Charity School in Ajman walked into their library at the end of November, they received a delightful surprise. They found that their library had been totally renovated, thanks in part to the work of GE UAE Volunteers.
The floor had been newly tiled, the walls freshly painted, windows replaced and lighting improved. There was even a cheerful mural on the wall that had been hand-painted by the GE Volunteers, as well as all-new bookshelves, tables and chairs.
The work was done by 45 GE Volunteers who spent a busy day painting walls, putting furniture together, configuring 100 computers that GE had donated to the school, and putting other finishing touches on the renovation project funded by GE.
The work in November followed another project at the school in March when 28 GE Volunteers helped renovate the school’s science & computer lab, while another group of eight volunteers held an “Igniting Minds” session, where students built periscopes from PVC pipes and mirrors. Igniting Minds is a GE program that visits needy schools to conduct simple science activities with kids. The Igniting Minds session was conducted in March(building flashlights) as well as in November (building periscopes) at NCS, Ajman.
The renovation projects are part of GE’s ongoing support to the school, which serves families of limited income. Other projects over the past few years have included renovating a computer lab, a playground and classrooms.
The activities at the National Charity School this year were just three of more than two dozen corporate social responsibility and community development activities that GE UAE Volunteers engaged in during 2017.
These GE Volunteer programs involved hundreds of volunteers giving hundreds of hours to projects that benefitted thousands of children and adults, and they reflected spirit of the UAE’s Year of Giving.
For example, volunteers organized a sports day at the Senses Residential and Day Care Centre for special needs children. Additional Igniting Minds workshops were held at three other charity schools in the UAE.
Also focused on education is the Injaz UAE program. GE supports Injaz Al Arab, a regional non-profit that is focused on building business and entrepreneurial skills among youth in the Arab world. Working with Injaz UAE, GE Volunteers held workshops and provided coaching to high school and university students on topics such as personal finance and entrepreneurship.
GE Volunteers also participated in the University of Dubai’s “Faculty for a Day” program, which involves professionals visiting the university to give lessons on topics of their expertise.
Through the Dubai Chamber’s “Give and Gain Day” initiative, GE Volunteers hosted a group of young adults from the Mawaheb from Beautiful People art studio for adults with special needs at GE’s offices in Dubai. The volunteers led the young people in a series of arts and craft activities.
In a separate event under the Give and Gain Day initiative, GE Volunteers participated in a Room to Read activity at the Little Flowers School, where they read stories to children and did other activities that promoted reading.
Environmental protection also is a major focus for GE volunteers, reflected in the 54 employees who participated in the “Give a Ghaf” tree program early in the year. They went to a Dubai nursery and helped re-pot hundreds of Ghaf tree seedlings being prepared for planting across Dubai.
During Ramadan, 100 GE Volunteers packaged hundreds of Iftar care packages for needy families. The next day, they then helped distribute them.
Other activities over the year included a stationary collection for needy students at the beginning of the school year and a glasses collection drive. ‘Laptops for a Cause’ is a GE program where volunteers help format and configure used GE computers in preparation for giving them to needy organizations, such as the National Charity School.
The efforts by GE Volunteers in the UAE is part of GE Volunteers, a global network that includes GE employees, affinity groups, friends and family, and supported by GE businesses and corporate resources.
Read more stories about how GE Volunteers help communities across the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and Pakistan.