ABU DHABI, UAE: The Global Volunteering Leadership Summit, hosted and organized by Emirates Foundation in association with IAVE, the International Association for Volunteer Effort, and in collaboration with the Department of Community Development, discussed why volunteering matters for the post-COVID world. And the pivotal role volunteers play in weaving a strong social fabric within communities.  Under the theme, “The Role of Volunteering Leadership: Responding to COVID-19 and Building a Sustainable Recovery”, the global event was hosted by ADNOC Business Centre in the capital Abu Dhabi.

Coinciding with the UAE’s Golden Jubilee celebrations of the UAE’s 50th National Day, the summit also celebrates the 50th anniversary of IAVE, the world-wide network of NGOs, businesses, national volunteer centers and grassroots leaders of volunteering, and saw the attendance and participation of representatives from national volunteering leadership organizations from 50 countries worldwide

His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Managing Director and board member of Emirates Foundation, has affirmed the UAE’s commitment to strengthening international cooperation by providing COVID-19 Aid to 1 Million Medical Professionals Worldwide. “Since the very beginning of this nation’s journey, the UAE has been a source of inspiration due to recognizable philanthropic efforts. Under the guidance of our founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, we have followed his lead in humanitarian activities. The UAE’s leadership is honorable in its dedication to perpetuate the great example set by the father of the nation, Sheikh Zayed, who bestowed upon us his legacy of altruism, tolerance and generosity of spirit.

H.E. Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of The Department of Community Development, said: “The power of volunteerism that we have always believed in has been tested during this pandemic. I believe we were very fortunate to be able to show the value of what we do, the enormous effort we have been investing in our volunteers and how they have played a pivotal role in complementing governments efforts in the fight against this pandemic.   Throughout the summit, we were able to share our experiences, challenges, and fundamental lessons from the covid pandemic which will allow us all to contribute to building back better in our respective societies.

Nichole Cirilo, Executive Director of IAVE, echoed his Excellency’s sentiment by reiterating that the theme of the summit would help put global efforts in volunteering into a worldly perspective. “This pandemic has been the first of its kind in the modern era, and we are here to discuss how the ‘Role of Volunteering Leadership: Responding to COVID-19 and Building a Sustainable Recovery’ will demonstrate that our successes, coupled with the valuable knowledge we have learned, can be used in the fight against the spread of not just this virus, but similar crises that may occur.

“As nations around the world begin the task of adapting to a post-COVID new normal, we have come together in Abu Dhabi to examine how the role of volunteering will take on renewed importance as we work together to provide innovative solutions to the issues surrounding global crises.”

The summit features a range of international guest speakers sharing their insights on various topics, including Disruptive Innovation: Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Creating an Enabling Environment for Volunteering, Volunteering and COVID-19: Lessons for Disaster Preparedness and much more.

The Global Volunteering Leadership Summit, which is jointly sponsored by Oxy, Total – Emirates Foundation corporate partner, ADNOC – event host, and the Department of Community Development – Abu Dhabi, is a precursor to the 26th IAVE World Volunteer Conference, the largest global gathering of volunteer experts and practitioners, which will be hosted in Abu Dhabi towards the end of 2022 having been postponed from 2020 due to the pandemic. Being held in the Middle East for the first time, the much anticipated Conference will attract thousands of participants representing stakeholders of the volunteer community from around the world, sharing and exploring how working together as agents of change they can provide the practical action that builds hope and resilience, improves lives and strengthens communities.


About Emirates Foundation

Emirates Foundation was launched on 12 April 2005 as an initiative of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. It is chaired by His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Emirates Foundation is a national organization set up to facilitate public-private funded initiatives to unite social responsibility across the UAE, by implementing research-based programs that meet the country’s needs towards sustainable community development.

The Foundation works with public and private sector partners to meet national goals, respond to society’s most pressing challenges and in the development of national competencies through digital smart platforms and defined through data-driven social needs.

For more information on Emirates Foundation, please contact:
Wael Sarieddine
Email: wael.sarieddine@viola.ae 

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