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UAE Volunteers campaign announced to support national efforts against COVID-19
The national campaign aims to support volunteering efforts at the national level and harness the expertise, skills and talents of community members and involve them in the volunteering process. "Two types of volunteering are available: field and virtual, as part of a fully integrated and sustainable portal for volunteering across the country during times of crisis," according to an announcement of the Higher Committee.
In the current phase, campaign objectives include attracting experienced and skilled medical personnel spanning these specializations: general practitioners, psychologists, nurses, retired physicians of all specialisations, students from various medical specialisations, and any individuals with a certificate in first aid or emergency response.
"The campaign also offers virtual volunteering through remote volunteer opportunities open to all, enabling each volunteer to contribute to the campaign with their own expertise and skills from the safety of their homes, through the national volunteer platform volunteers.ae," the Higher Committee noted.
Participation in virtual volunteering is open to anyone aged 14 or above in the "Support an Organisation" category, it said, adding that volunteers who retain specialised expertise or skills are invited to provide online courses and workshops in different areas such as sports, arts, languages, health, or how to prevent corona propagation.
Mental health professionals, those who have experience with senior citizens, and certified professional trainers are also invited to share their valuable expertise, it went on to say.
Volunteers also have the opportunity to help at the call center, which is open to all, with priority given to customer service workers and those who speak different languages. Other general volunteering opportunities are open to all citizens and residents 14 years or older.
The "UAE Volunteers" campaign allows everyone who makes up UAE society, nationals and residents alike, to volunteer and support teams working on the ground who are helping mitigate the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic.
Volunteer efforts will be focused at mobile COVID-19 screening centres, in cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company - SEHA, Quarantine Support - Abu Dhabi Health, the Estijaba hotline at Abu Dhabi Health, the Abu Dhabi Health Department Takatof call centre, in addition to volunteering at the DHA field hospital, medical support in Dubai, volunteering at airports and ports in the Emirate of Dubai, and health facilities in Sharjah and Ajman.
"Volunteers are also requested for providing support for those enforcing quarantine in Umm Al Qaiwain, and at Takatof to tackle coronavirus by supporting health facilities in Fujairah, in addition to volunteering in medical screening in Fujairah, and supporting the efforts of the humanitarian city in Fujairah," the Higher Committee said.
Hessa bint Issa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, underscored the importance of volunteerism, which she said in these exceptional circumstances "is a national duty that we must respond to as part of our personal, national and moral responsibility, and as a way to give back to our beloved nation that provides us with so much."
She pointed out that "while crises pass and challenges disappear, national loyalty remains forever as part of our love for the homeland and our sense of belonging to humanity. Volunteerism and self-sacrifice are recorded in the annals of history for generations to come."
She called upon all community members, and medical personnel in particular, to respond to the call out and offer their expertise and skills in support of the tremendous efforts made by the national teams in fighting the spread of coronavirus, stressing that the UAE Volunteers campaign upholds the principle of "all for one and one for all" with an intrinsic benefit for both the volunteer and the recipient of support.
Obaid Rashid Alhosan Al Shamsi Director-General, National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, NCEMA, said that "volunteers are capable of playing a role no less important than the pivotal role played by medical and health teams in the field during these times, under the umbrella of a proper support and follow-up system to achieve optimal results.
"We, in turn, strive to provide the best possible support for all field and virtual volunteers." Al Shamsi pointed out that "there are dozens of volunteering opportunities in the field in medical, health and community specialities across the UAE, and that everyone who has the ability and will to give back to the country with his skills and expertise, can select the right opportunity to do so and join the field teams who are working hard and remaining hopeful to beat coronavirus soon."
The Higher National Committee for Regulating Volunteering during Crisis has called upon all volunteers to document their contribution and share them with others using the hashtag #UAE_Volunteers. The volunteers.ae platform can be reached at: www.volunteers.ae, or by calling 800 - VOLAE (80086523), or e-mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org, for inquiries, or to browse the platform's various volunteering opportunities, advantages and services that support volunteers and volunteerism in the UAE.