The visit to Abu Dhabi comes as the capital has been named one of the top three international capitals shortlisted to host IAVE World Volunteer Conference in 2020, which is the largest global gathering of volunteering experts and practitioners.
The IAVE visit comes as part of the final bid evaluation phase, and includes meetings with various UAE government bodies, officials, volunteering association and organisations. During their visit to the Emirates Foundation, the delegation received first-hand insights into the UAE’s pioneering work in the area of volunteering, the creation of a strong and sustainable volunteering model, and cultivating a culture of volunteerism.
Commenting on the visit, Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon, Managing Director of Emirates Foundation, said, "Volunteerism is a true reflection of the vision set forth by the wise leadership of the UAE to nurture a culture of giving and civic engagement by our youth. This is done through relentless education, awareness and the creation of programmes that enable youth to volunteer, while creating a social and economic impact in their communities and the nation, overall."
Also, Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of Expo 2020 Dubai, said, "The UAE leadership has played a fundamental role in instilling a mindset of volunteering among the youth and the community, through promoting the principles of giving and civic engagement as part of everyday life, while creating meaningful volunteering opportunities for our youth."
Regarding the continuing work in volunteering, Sana Suhail, Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Community Development, said, "Today, we are uniquely positioned as a nation to share our learning, best practices and models in nurturing and cultivating volunteering through systematic programmes, digital nationwide portals and most importantly, youth experiences, both locally and internationally.
"Through volunteers.ae, the national largest volunteering platform, we have successfully attracted, trained and mobilised over 300,000 volunteers in a short period of time, all of whom are offering unique and specialised volunteering support across all sectors within the UAE."
Additionally, Maytha Al Habsi, CEO at Emirates Foundation, said, "We were honoured to host the IAVE delegation at the Emirates Foundation, whose work has come a long way over the last four decades to promote and strengthen volunteerism across the globe. At Emirates Foundation, we believe that IAVE offers a unique platform for growth and exchange, and it is through sharing our work, progress and learning that we can all work together meaningfully towards spreading and advancing volunteerism with successful models and adaptable blueprint for the region and beyond."