The Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation, AMAF, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with SOS Children's Villages International - Gulf Area Office, outlining means of cooperation between the two sides on AMAF’s Family Village project that is set to house more than 100 orphans in Dubai when it opens its doors in 2015.
The MoU was signed by Tayeb Al Rais, Secretary-General, AMAF, and Nicole Nassar, Managing Director of SOS Children’s Villages International Gulf Area Office in the presence of Helmut Kutin, Honourary President of SOS Children’s Villages International at AMAF in Dubai.
The agreement will help AMAF leverage 65 years expertise of SOS Children’s Villages International in integrating best-in-class social, scientific, economic and cultural practices in child upbringing into the Family Village project with a view to providing underprivileged minors with appropriate care, rehabilitation and protection.
Commenting on the MoU, Tayeb Al Rais said, "AMAF is delighted to join hands with a global leader in the field of child care for the educational and social development of the orphans that will find a home in the Family Village. SOS Children’s Villages International will help the AMAF plan and manage the project on par with best international standards.
"We are confident that the MoU will mark the beginning of a long partnership between our two organisations and contribute to the streamlining of our operations for the greater benefit of society in Dubai and the wider UAE." He added, "This cooperation is in line with the Dubai government’s aims to benefit from international experiences to help improve the lives of its citizens and promote human development in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and under the directions of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council." The Family Village project is designed to address the needs of orphans and to provide educational opportunities, health, food and primary care. The ‘village’ will be equipped with the latest in educational aids and medical services. The project is a beneficiary of the endowments and investments directed to cover the Family Village’s operational expenses as well as to provide for the needs of orphans and incubators.
"The MoU is proof of our continued long-term commitment to the region. We look forward to working with AMAF on the Family Village project and are keen to explore new partnerships with other entities as well," said Helmut Kutin.
"When we team up, share knowledge and act together, we get that much closer to finding effective solutions to the critical problems and challenges children are facing today," he added.
Kutin noted that SOS Children’s Villages has been operating in the MENA region since 1968. The organisation has established villages in Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Sudan, Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco, and run several programmes aimed at providing children with quality care and educational support, as well as empowering local communities.
Earlier this year, SOS Children’s Villages selected Dubai as the hub for its expansion into the Gulf region, due to the emirate’s pivotal role in enabling partnerships between the public and private sectors, to raise funds for humanitarian initiatives through donations and sponsorships, as well as through collaborating with local NGOs and humanitarian organisations. With the launch of new SOS Children’s Villages Gulf Area Office, the organisation now operates in 134 countries around the globe.