Social Action Report

The world we live in is faced with many challenges. Some are social , some economic and some environmental --- these three factors form the basis of sustainability. One must work on all fronts to ensure that we are able to protect and save Mother Earth for future generations. I, therefore , work not just for the environment, but also try and organize awareness and campaigns about alleviating social and economic issues. Sustainability is now second nature to me. I live with it every waking moment and dream about new ways to move forward while I sleep. It makes my life most fulfilling since I feel that I am contributing towards a greener planet. If we go around improving our own lifestyle, other people will start copying us and picking up their own carbon 'litter' too. As a responsible child, I am also fulfilling my duty towards our universal mother i.e. Nature. Children are the future and it is imperative that we should play a defining role in ensuring that it is secure, habitable, pollution free and green. We must work towards the ‘Future We Want’.

To quote a native American proverb “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”

by Kehkashan Basu

The ‘Water Bucket Walk’ was organized by ‘Dubai Cares’ to support children with limited access to clean drinking water in schools around the world and address one of the main issues preventing children’s access to primary education. Held on Friday, 20th November 2009 which marked the 20th anniversary of the United Nations’ Universal Children’s Day, the 3-km ‘Water Bucket Walk’ along Jumeirah Beach Road received an overwhelming response from various members of the UAE community including women and children of all ages. I registered for the walk by paying AED 30. This money would give 1 child access to clean drinking water for I full year.

When my parents planned to take me on holiday to Jordan in July, 2009, I decided to take my toys, books and extra clothes along with me to donate there. I contacted the King Hussein Foundation and with the help of their Communications Manager, Ms. Haya Al Husseini, I made my donation to the Noor Al Hussein Institute of Family Health, a subsidiary of the King Hussein Foundation, which takes care of children and war victims from Iraq and Palestine. The joy on the faces of the children when they opened my suitcase full of goodies made me the happiest person on that day.

This was a voluntary campaign of ‘Dubai Cares’ in which I participated. Dubai Cares had promised to donate 1 new book to a needy child for every book that the volunteers read. The period of this campaign was two weeks and the target was to donate 1 million books. Fortunately, by the end of two weeks , 1,323,218 books were read and contributed. I felt really honoured to have been a volunteer in this international effort.

There are 42 millions girls around the world today who do not go to school. ‘Dubai Cares’ launched a charity drive to collect donations for educating the girl child. For every donation made  a symbolic brick was placed. Several such bricks would help to build a classroom. I took active part in this campaign and raised donations for the same.

The World Food Programme in association with Dubai Municipality organised the ‘Walk The World’ campaign to increase awareness about the bleak food shortages in some parts of the world, thereby prompting others to conserve and reduce wastage and also help to raise funds for tackling this problem. I actively participated in this noble endeavour and helped to raise funds .

The Key theme of this ‘Dubai cares’ initiative was that “ when you educate a girl child in Africa, he income as an adult will increase by 25%’. Children , especially girls, face severe discrimination in many underdeveloped parts of the world. It is very important therefore to provide education to them so that they can be self-reliant. Without education, how can anyone even understand about green economy and conservation. I took part in this campaign with a lot of passion and encouraged my peers to attend too.

Volunteering for “The Heroes of the UAE” energy conservation campaign
I am a member of Emirates Wildlife Society which in partnership with World Wildlife Fund(WWF) is assisting the Abu Dhabi Beach Authority in its environmental awareness campaigns. The Corniche beach in Abu Dhabi is a designated ‘Blue Flags’ beach, one of the few in the Middle East. This beach was the venue of the environmental awareness campaign in which I took part. This project is a part of the ‘Heroes of The UAE’ national campaign focusing on energy and water conservation across all sectors of society. The campaign is helping address the country’s Ecological Footprint through its four programmes: Energy, Water, School and Corporate. It involves children as role models to raise awareness of why and how to conserve energy and water as a way of reducing the UAE’s Ecological Footprint and help tackle climate change .

Please download the attachments below for more information on all of these activities.