UAE: Abu Dhabi Entity Makes Difference In Society With Impactful Social Projects


(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Fri 23 Feb 2024, 3:22 PM

Last updated: Fri 23 Feb 2024, 4:40 PM

The Authority of Social Contribution (Ma'an) has been impacting the lives of thousands of community members in Abu Dhabi through numerous social projects and initiatives in collaboration with the third sector, a top official said.

Since its foundation by the Department of Community Development – Abu Dhabi, Ma'an has generated genuine social impact by enabling the growth of a thriving third sector, including social enterprises, and voluntary groups – and creating collaboration with public and private organisations to drive social innovation.

“Ma'an supports and empowers the third sector to deliver sustainable, innovative solutions to make a long-lasting impact and benefit individuals from the Abu Dhabi community,” Salama Al Ameemi, Director General of Ma'an, told Khaleej Times.

Salama Al Ameemi.

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In 2022, more than 85,000 people benefited from Ma'an's cooperation with third sector institutions, government agencies, and private sector companies, with a sum of Dh78 million deployed across five key sectors, including social, health, environment, education, and infrastructure. As per its impact report of 2022, Ma'an implemented around 58 programmes to benefit 85,013 people. It has three key impact areas: effective society engagement, sustainability in contributions, and ecosystem empowerment.

Addressing social priorities

One of the latest initiatives to address pressing social priorities is a Ma'an reinforced programme, which seeks to support non-profit institutions by helping them to develop their offerings and improve the quality of service to implement initiatives aimed at achieving a sustainable social impact.

“The programme has extended its support to 26 institutions dedicated to addressing critical social priorities in the capital, including elderly people and individuals with disabilities, as well as other areas such as community cohesion and mental health promotion. Additionally, it covers health, social, cultural, and various other priorities,” Al Ameemi said.

Through its community engagement and volunteering initiative, Ma'an encourages and financially supports licenced non-profits, social enterprises, volunteer groups, schools, and academia, as well as private sector organisations.

“These partners operate a variety of grant-funded programmes, or equally, propose new volunteering-led initiatives that address social priorities in Abu Dhabi.”

Empowering entrepreneurs

Al Ameemi noted that Ma'an remains dedicated to developing integrated targeted community engagement and volunteering programmes.

“In 2022, more than 1,300 volunteers benefited from Ma'an's social initiatives and were able to leave a long-term, sustainable, and positive impact, further reinforcing the Authority's strategic aim to foster an active, collaborative, and cohesive community.”

The Ma'an Social Incubator (MSI) programme has helped entrepreneurs develop the necessary skill sets to build their businesses, which in turn contributed to promoting economic growth among the youth in Abu Dhabi.

“MSI succeeded in empowering 54 social institutions in Abu Dhabi by providing them with the necessary tools and support to develop by activating emerging institutions and enabling them to develop sustainable solutions that achieve a positive social impact in Abu Dhabi,” Al Ameemi underlined.

Promoting healthy lifestyle

Last month, Ma'an participated in activating a volunteering event with one of its Community Engagement Volunteering Programme (CEVP) operators from the 'We Volunteer' initiative, Haraka to encourage the emirate's residents to embrace an active and healthy lifestyle.

Active Parks by Haraka, a DCD initiative developed in partnership with Abu Dhabi Sports Council and the municipalities Abu Dhabi City, Al Ain City, and Al Dhafrah region, and Community Management Department – Al Dhafrah Region Affairs, aimed to encourage community members to utilise public parks and green spaces. The one-year programme, launched in September 2023, has successfully hosted 3,840 participants, with 164 volunteers across 498 sessions to date.

Active Parks is one of the programmes that received Community Volunteering Programme Grants (CVPG), part of the Ma'an Grants Programme, which aims to support social enterprises and not-for-profits to create collaborative communities and a culture of contribution in Abu Dhabi.

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