Nearly 6,000 Lives Touched by GE Volunteers in the UAE in 2022
February 6, 2023
From refurbishing computers to recycling office furniture, GE Volunteers in the UAE touched the lives of nearly 6,000 people in 2022 through activities that helped out members of the community, from blue-collar workers to children of determination.
The projects were as diverse as the employees themselves and the people who benefitted from them. In one project, a group of GE employees spent 100 hours collecting, cleaning and reconfiguring used GE laptops that were then delivered to the non-profit Terra Sancta College in Bethlehem. More than 300 students at the college have benefitted from this work.
Similarly, GE Volunteers leveraged the spirit of recycling to share excess furniture from GE offices in the UAE with the Manzil Center benefitting nearly 40 students.
The Manzil project was led by Shishir Ojha, who has been a GE Volunteer for seven years, ever since he became part of GE.
He was co-organizer of another event with Manzil that brought 40 children and staff on a field trip to GE offices in Dubai Internet City for a day of games and activities.
For the students, it was an exciting opportunity to engage with more than two dozen GE Volunteers during outdoor activities in a new and different environment away from their familiar campus. “Both the kids and staff left with big smiles, while the GE Volunteers brought away great memories,” Shishir said.
After seven years of being a volunteer and organizing individual events, in 2023, Shishir is taking on the role of GE Volunteers UAE Council Leader.
“I get so much satisfaction organizing these activities – bringing people together to make a difference to the community, impact lives and see the positive reaction and appreciation of the children and other people. This motivates me and makes me want to stay involved.”
GE employees gain a great deal from the experiences, said Shishir, who works in Dubai in the Heavy Duty Gas Turbine business at GE Vernova, the company’s portfolio of energy businesses.
“The GE Volunteers organization makes the company a better place to work,” he said. “All of us want to do good. But lives are so busy with the day to day stuff. GE Volunteers offers a platform within the organization where employees can get involved, do something that makes them happier and gives them an additional way to have a sense of satisfaction in what they are doing at GE.”
In January, February and November, 20 GE Volunteers across the Middle East and North Africa collaborated with the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education to mentor 25 high-achieving Arab students on their career choices.
Other volunteer activities during the year included a blood donation drive in October, when more than 50 GE employees, including from FieldCore, a GE company, participated in the event, held at GE’s offices in Jebel Ali in coordination with the Dubai Blood Donation Center of Dubai Heath Authority.
The next month, 30 GE Volunteers participated in a beach clean-up event in association with Dubai Municipality, while in December, 35 GE Volunteers, including from GE Aerospace business, collaborated to improve washroom facilities at the National Charity School Sharjah. After spending the morning on the renovation work that is now benefitting 700 students, the volunteers participated in a celebration presented by the students and an afternoon of shared sports activities.
During Ramadan, hundreds of GE Volunteers participated in two key activities. The first was the annual Kiswat Eid shopping event during which 80 employees took more than 85 children shopping for new clothes. The event was organized in coordination with The Big Heart Foundation and the Rawafed Development and Learning Centre.
Another annual Ramadan activity for GE Volunteers is providing Ramadan Care Boxes. More than 800 of these care packages were prepared and distributed at Labour Camps in association with SmartLife, providing blue collar workers in Dubai with a month’s worth of food essentials, including cooking oil, tea, sugar, rice, dal, dates, and beans.
Throughout the year, GE Volunteers continued a decade-long collaboration with INJAZ UAE, a non-profit focused on business education for youth. GE employees served as mentors and facilitators during workshops focused on workforce readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurship. In all, GE Volunteers interacted with nearly 600 young people.
Many of these projects will be conducted again in 2023, Shishir said, while new ones will grow out of the needs of local non-profits in the country.
“We look forward to seeing more smiles throughout the year,” he said.
Read more here about GE Volunteers helping to brighten lives in the UAE and across the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and Pakistan region.