This year marks the 14th anniversary of Zayed Humanitarian Day, celebrated annually on 19 Ramadan to honour the values of compassion, giving and volunteerism embodied by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founding Father of the UAE. In celebration, the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) got together a group of orphaned 6 to 10 year-olds and engaged them in a series of fun and educational activities.
The event was held under the UAEBBY’s ‘Read, Dream, Create’ campaign in alignment with other charitable efforts that were initiated across the UAE to commemorate the day.
Held in collaboration with the Sharjah Social Empowerment Foundation, the evening’s proceedings took off with an iftar, which the children savoured against the picturesque backdrop of Al Majaz Waterfront in Sharjah. Following the grand meal, a series of interactive workshops and activities, which included reading, writing, crafts making and storytelling sessions were organised at AIWAN Centre. The children also thoroughly enjoyed face painting, balloons, and exciting gifts from the UAEBBY.
“The Zayed Humanitarian Day exemplifies some of the core values our nation is built upon. It is a vivid reflection of the UAE’s wise leadership, and their keenness to advance humanitarian initiatives and instil a spirit of charity among our people. The day coincides with 19 Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic year for practicing Muslims to show kindness and compassion to everyone in society. We organised this evening for these children as a renewal of our commitment to doing good for society, especially the youth,” said Marwa Al Aqroubi, President of the UAEBBY Executive Board.
“Under the Read, Dream, Create campaign, we engaged children in a series of creative and literary activities, which brought us closer together and helped us create a bond with them. We enjoyed spending a memorable evening with these beautiful children and feel fortunate to have had this wonderful opportunity to make them feel special. We believe that doing something, no matter how big or small, is better than doing nothing at all. If everyone does their part, it will trigger a wave of positive change in society,” she added.
Launched in 2013 by the UAEBBY, the ‘Read, Dream, Create’ campaign aims to bring children and books together. It also aims to encourage children and young people to read, innovate and create, as well as develop their writing skills and transform their ideas into engaging, well written stories. The campaign facilitates a better understanding for the needs of Arab children in the field of children’s literature.
The UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY), the national section of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), was established in 2010, under the patronage of Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Founder and Patron of the UAEBBY. It aims to serve as a driving force to promote culture among children and young adults in the UAE, in line with its goal of giving every child the right to be a reader.