(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Individuals who have made it their commitment to help others and spread hope will be honoured during the second edition of the Arab Hope Makers initiative.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, will honour the most altruistic individuals from the Arab world at a ceremony in the Dubai Studio City on May 14.
The top Arab Hope Maker for 2018 will receive the grand prize of Dh1 million to continue their charitable efforts that inspire hope.
Announcing the event via Twitter, Sheikh Mohammed said: "Building hope is vital for our lives and our civilisation, and creating hope in the Arab world is the most important task ahead of us. We seek to inspire millions of young people to make a positive contribution to their communities through the Arab Hope Makers initiative."
The second edition of the initiative, dedicated to acknowledging efforts to spread hope and improve the lives of people in the Arab world and beyond, invited the participation of individuals, groups and organisations committed to humanitarian and community work in various fields. The call received an overwhelming response with some 87,000 submissions from 15 Arab and 20 non-Arab countries, surpassing the previous year's figures by more than 30 per cent.
The initiative recorded a notable increase in submissions from young Arabs based in western communities, especially in Europe, highlighting projects that aim to assist those in need, particularly immigrants and refugees, in rebuilding their lives. The second edition of the initiative covered the most pressing societal challenges in the Arab world. Local community service initiatives accounted for 36 per cent of all entries, while projects in education amounted to 12 per cent and health initiatives made up six per cent.
From among the submissions, 15 candidates were selected and invited to Dubai to meet with a panel of judges that included representatives of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), as well as members of the philanthropic community and media representatives. During the interaction, candidates presented their efforts and achievements in front of the jury.
The panel then shortlisted the most deserving participants based on the positive impact of their projects on communities, their role in instilling a culture of hope in the Arab world and addressing the challenges facing their societies through innovative ideas and initiatives.
Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, secretary-seneral of MBRGI, said: "The Arab Hope Makers initiative stems from Sheikh Mohammed's vision to make spreading hope an individual responsibility as much as a societal one. The initiative aims to establish altruism as a way of life and call upon individuals to engage in activities that touch people's lives and give hope to others."
He added: "Our initiative has succeeded in instilling a culture of philanthropy in the Arab world. It has encouraged Arab youth to spread optimism and hope, and combat pessimism and despair, and is a clear proof that focusing on good deeds helps banish negative thoughts and avoid misguided practices."
The first edition of Arab Hope Makers received a significant uptake across the Arab world drawing more than 65,000 participants, five of whom were honoured for dedicating their lives to spreading hope.
Who won the award in 2017? Nawal Al Sufi was voted as the Arab Hope Maker in 2017, but His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, surprised the crowed by awarding all five candidates the grand prize of Dh1 million each, helping to support their hopeful endeavours.
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