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Sheikh Mohammed launches Arab Centre for Philanthropy

posted on 21/01/2008: 1744 views

Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum yesterday announced the launch of "Arab Centre for Philanthropy”, seeking to mobilise strategic giving and promoting coordination among various Arab philanthropic programmes.

The announcement came during Sheikh Mohammed's meeting with prominent leaders of philanthropy from the Arab world. The meeting was held on the sidelines of the regional consultation on the future of philanthropy in the region. The two day conference, which opened today in Dubai, is being organized by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation.

The Arab Centre for Philanthropy is set to play a major role in leveraging the level of cooperation between Arab philanthropists in order to enhance their contribution while working to overcome regional challenges. Announcing the launch of the initiative, Sheikh Mohammed stressed on the importance of collective giving, irrespective of whether it stemmed from individuals or organizations.

He underlined the weakness of philanthropy in the Arab world, hinting that the aspersion cast on a few philanthropic organizations has marred the credibility of the entire industry. Apart from dissuading several people from dealing with them, such inadequately structured organizations have also forced genuine philanthropic organizations to rely more on the personal wealth of their founders or sponsors.

Sheikh Mohammed reiterated that achievements in the philanthropic field could never be achieved by the availability of finances alone. He stated that success is a result of a combination of factors including creativity of individuals, organizational support, availability of funds, and the importance of volunteering and knowledge sharing.

Stressing on the immense challenges faced by the Arab world, he said that failure in facing these challenges is not an option. He placed considerable onus on wealthy Arabs to help drive the region in resolving these challenges.

The ‘Arab Centre for Philanthropy' will work towards achieving a number of important objectives that include encouraging and honouring leaders of social philanthropy; building the capacity of philanthropic organisations and their staff while nurturing their transparency; promoting philanthropy among wealthy Arabs, and ensuring coordination between them to solicit financial support. The centre will also be mandated to spread the culture of volunteerism and muster the commitment of the youth towards their communities. Additionally, it will seek to sponsor scientific research related to philanthropy in the Arab World.

The new centre will launch a number of strategic programmes that include providing scholarships for social leaders, issuing a guide and directory of Arab philanthropic programmes as well organising philanthropy workshops to develop the skills of strategic planning among the staff of philanthropic organizations. The ‘Arab Centre for Philanthropy' will also focus on developing young philanthropic leaderships and providing them with necessary skills to run philanthropic organizations.

Participating Arab philanthropists at the regional consultation praised the vision of Sheikh Mohammed, and said the concept of an ‘Arab Centre for Philanthropy' reflects his commitment to address pressing regional challenges. - Emirates News Agency, WAM


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