As part of efforts and initiatives to fight the spread of COVID-19 in the country, The Ministry of Health and Prevention is currently training 535 volunteers to support the UAE’s medical system, involving different sectors that support the medical system, such as contact centres, quarantine centres, hospitals and various sterilization facilities.
This announcement was made during the seventh periodic briefing of the UAE Government, presented by Dr. Farida Al Hosani, Official Spokesperson of the UAE Health Sector. During the briefing, she stated that the ministry is currently conducting training programmes for volunteers around the country, which involve different sectors that support the medical system, such as contact centres, quarantine centres, hospitals and various sterilisation facilities.
Volunteering in the UAE is being prioritised by the leaderships of governmental and non- governmental bodies. The UAE is promoting the culture of volunteering, as it encourages people to serve the country and community and contribute to shaping the future.
Emirati volunteer institutions and programmes are providing a variety of community and development needs, such as the National Volunteer Programme for Emergencies, Crises and Disasters, the emergency response initiatives like ''Takatof'', ''Sanid'' and ''We Are All Police'', the Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, the Emirates Voluntary Academy in Abu Dhabi, the Dubai Volunteering Programme, the Sandooq Al Watan Fund, and the "Volunteering Incubators System".
Among major volunteering initiatives in this context is the launch of nine national initiatives by the Federal Youth Authority, to raise the readiness of Emirati youth and support their role in reducing the effects of pandemics on the community. These initiatives were launched in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and Prevention, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, the Ministry of Community Development, the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments, the National Media Council, NMC, and the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources, FAHR.
The volunteering drive also took on to social media, as Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, launched “Your city needs you… volunteer for Dubai” campaign, urging able citizens and residents to make a contribution by simply downloading the ‘Day for Dubai’ app.
The initiative comes in cooperation with the Dubai Department of Health to introduce community members to the available volunteering options and initiatives to select the proper volunteering aspect according to their skills and capabilities and support health services. They are also available to doctors, pharmacists, nurses and paramedics who have practical field experience.
Other volunteers who are not medically qualified may also participate in supporting community services for seniors care or other society services to help the society combat this pandemic and raise public awareness on the virus' threats.
The campaign received huge response from over 8300 volunteers, while 55 public and private expressed interest, reflecting the UAE people's respect and awareness of the importance of volunteering amid global crises and challenges.
Other key volunteering initiatives included the participation by the Humanitarian Response team to evacuate people from various Arab countries from the pandemic epicenter in China. Many others volunteered to equip the Emirates Humanitarian City in Abu Dhabi to receive the evacuees.
All those initiatives and many others collectively reflect the UAE government's and people's respect for volunteering and its deep positive impacts in such trying times.