The Department of Community Development (DCD), Abu Dhabi, in collaboration with the volunteer team “Bi aldima' nirwik ya watan”, organised a sporting event, which coincided with the International Volunteer Day. The event was held at the Sheikh Zayed Festival in Al Watba, in the heritage village (Khalifa bin Zayed Foundation for Humanitarian Work). It seeks to increase awareness of leading a healthy lifestyle and participating in public sports among all members of society. A number of authorities and stakeholders from various Abu Dhabi entities participated in a variety of activities and events.
The department observes this day annually to draw attention to the idea of volunteering, its efforts, and its role in enhancing societies' capacity to face challenges, as well as to create an efficient and effective volunteer environment. This day's celebration aims to activate the emirate's volunteer work system by raising awareness and encouraging participation by all members of society in various sectors while adhering to established professional standards in a secure setting.
His Excellency, H.E Mohamed Helal Al Balooshi, Executive Director of the Strategic Affairs Office, and the Acting Executive Director of the Community Engagement & Sports sector at the (DCD), said: “The development of a volunteer environment inside a structured framework improves community involvement in the Emirate, successfully assisting in the empowerment of institutions and community members to forge an engaged and responsible society. This strengthens community solidarity and reflects the directives of our wise leadership, who consider volunteerism to be a crucial tributary of communal development.”
His Excellency added: “With the intention of regulating the practise of volunteer work in Abu Dhabi, the Department of Community Development in Abu Dhabi places a high value on it. In 2020, the policy governing volunteer work was introduced, and in 2021, the start of volunteer licencing was announced. Promoting community involvement makes a significant difference in empowering local people and organisations to strengthen societal cohesiveness.”
His Excellency said that together with the Emirates Foundation and the Authority for Social Contributions, "Together," we recruit volunteers through the UAE Volunteer Platform, which offers volunteer opportunities and enables people to obtain the necessary licence to engage in volunteer work in accordance with the laws and policies. He stated that the volunteer licencing service is an extension of the department's organisational efforts to achieve its goals in volunteer work.
Al Balooshi further emphasised that the Department is eager to create an environment that supports volunteer work for society, residents, and citizens who help advance the development process in Abu Dhabi, noting that the “UAE Volunteer Platform” helps to protect the rights and define the obligations of all individual volunteers, volunteer teams, and entities that want to attract volunteers.
The Counselor, Dr. Ali Ahmed Al-Ansari, leader of the Volunteering Team, expressed his sincere gratitude and appreciation to the volunteers who have contributed to the success of this event, praising their efforts and dedication to serving the country and community.
Dr. Al-Ansari also thanked Baniyas Sports Club and the Sudanese Embassy for their presence and participation in this event. Al-Ansari concluded his thanks to the Department of Community Development for its hard work in various fields of community work and support for volunteer teams and volunteers.
Nine categories of volunteering are available in Abu Dhabi: traditional volunteering, volunteering for social affairs, volunteering in emergencies, volunteering at events, virtual volunteering, volunteering for visitors, institutional volunteering, specialised volunteering, and volunteering abroad.
Furthermore, the volunteer work policy includes three different types of licences, including a volunteer licence that is given to individuals who want to volunteer, a volunteer team licence that is given to a group of five or more people who want to perform volunteer work, and a licence for agencies that are helped by volunteers that is issued for legal entities, whether from the public, private or the third sector.