HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, said that the Initiative launched by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to designate 2017 as the ‘Year of Giving’ is a continuation along the same path towards integration in the development process initiated by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and further instilled by His Highness the President. HH the President stresses the importance of enhancing humanitarian values within society and in future generations, in order for them to contribute to the physical, cultural and moral construction of the UAE, dedicate themselves to serving the country, and protect the country's achievements made through the sincere efforts of both leadership and people.
In a speech marking the launch of the Initiative, His Highness said, "The United Arab Emirates has taken the lead in doing good, which is a reflection of the deep convictions derived from our sense of belonging and loyalty to our faith and to humanity. As a result, the UAE has not only achieved decent living standards for its citizens and residents, it has also been able to extend a helping hand to brotherly and friendly communities to assist in their development. In this, we believe in the importance of assuming social responsibility in both the local and global spheres.
“This responsibility has societal, economic and humanitarian value, which HH the President’s initiative is seeking to consolidate with the private sector, with the aim of contributing to the development process. This process requires the participation of all sectors to support the pace of development and modernisation in the various aspects of national action.
“In order to achieve harmony between the various segments of society, and in order to ensure the expected outcomes meet the importance of this Initiative, the value of voluntary work becomes an integral part of the fabric of national action. Its promotion has a positive impact on the enhancement of the various elements of national identity in individuals. It covers all specialties and competencies, and it does not exclude anyone, as voluntary work is a distinguishing feature of consistent civilised societies".
He added that the meaning of the term ‘giving’ goes beyond the idea of charity and donations, turning instead into a nation-serving strategy. It forms a major pillar of the ‘Year of Giving’ initiative, one that promotes national service, enhances national identity and sharpens the sense of belonging towards the UAE's federation and its future. It is therefore important to include the pillars of this Initiative within all programmes, activities and events organised by public and private institutions. It should also be part of the educational philosophy within the different levels of the educational institutions, and at the level of family upbringing. This can be achieved by creating curricula within the relevant subjects, thereby instilling in children the habit of doing good and promoting the culture of voluntary work.
"Doing good, in its deepest sense, requires a strong will, a clear mind and a high sense of belonging,” concluded His Highness. “These qualities are found in our citizens and residents alike and we expect ‘The Year of Giving’ to impress the whole world".