The 12 volunteers will help provide extensive home rehabilitation and modification services to affected families taking direction from Rebuilding Together, a 30-year-old organisation that works with everyday citizen volunteers, skilled trades people and the support of local business and major corporate partners to undertake critical home repairs for those in need at no cost to the home-owner.
The project is part of the Takatof International Programme’s third mission to the United States co-sponsored by the UAE Embassy in Washington DC. In its first two missions – in 2011 and 2012– 22 young Emirati volunteers took part in humanitarian services and helped rebuild damaged communities in US states including Missouri and Alabama where they improved the lives of many citizens in need.
The 2013 mission will also see Takatof volunteers participate in UAE Healthy Kidney Run, and visit the Lexington Academy primary school in Manhattan to inspect an enclosed soccer field gifted to the school by the UAE Embassy in Washington DC and the Manchester City Football.
Maytha Al Habsi, Emirates Foundation Chief Programmes Officer, said the US missions were just some of the many successful international projects undertaken by Takatof volunteers who have served in countries such as Morocco, Egypt, Thailand, Tanzania, Italy, Pakistan and China.
“The volunteers have shown their motivation and commitment to provide humanitarian services to communities in need, and we are very proud of such spirit as an outcome to our work on Takatof program,” Al Habsi said. She added “it is one of our main goals to promote this positive volunteering spirit among Emirati youth, and reflect that not just in the Emirati society, but internationally as well”.
As well as promoting and highlighting the value of volunteerism, the Takatof International Volunteering programme encourages UAE youth to experience cultural exchanges and interact with peer volunteers in different countries and in different circumstances. The programme provides young volunteers with the chance to represent their country at international youth forums and take pride in following the UAE’s approach to helping international communities.
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