Volunteer work plays a prominent and important role in the renaissance and progress of society, and is a fundamental pillar in promoting sustainable development, community solidarity, and building a better future for new generations. It is a practice that requires culture and awareness of what is offered to us and others. Promote sustainable development.
The volunteer work rooted in Emirati society embodies the phrase “the house is united”, as it has become a national imprint and a special feature of “Zayed’s children”, after it has become a well-established culture and a continuous work method in the UAE, since the establishment of the union at the hands of the founder, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may God rest his soul, who instilled in the people of the Emirates the love of doing good, extending a helping hand, helping the needy, and relieving the distressed.
Al-Bayan monitored 14 effects and benefits of volunteering, which are fruits that nourish the personality of the individual and the cohesion of society in general, namely: strengthening the concept of interdependence and unity among the members of society, directing youth energies towards serving others, enhancing a sense of belonging and responsibility towards society, developing and developing experiences, interests and hobbies, and enhancing communication social.
And consolidating the value of tolerance and acceptance of the other, providing assistance to the state service agencies, and consolidating relations with the various official voluntary bodies and associations in the Emirates.
Eliminating free time and boredom by doing all that is good and thus preventing the spread of crimes, spreading a humanitarian message based on the principle of equality, establishing the concept of providing assistance without waiting for return, developing self-confidence and a sense of positivity towards others, and improving the mental health of the individual through a sense of happiness and satisfaction.
A remarkable turnout
First of all, Ahmed Lootah, Director of the Community Cohesion Department at the Community Development Authority in Dubai, confirmed that there is a remarkable turnout of volunteers to register in the Dubai Volunteer Program, as the total number of volunteers registered in the Dubai Volunteer Program reached 44,547 male and female volunteers, an increase of more than 40% over the previous year. This indicates a high awareness of the importance and role of volunteering in community service and development.
He explained that there are many advantages to volunteering, most notably developing the spirit of social responsibility, establishing a culture of giving among individuals and in society in general, investing free time in what is useful, enhancing soft skills to qualify the volunteer for the labor market, and developing the positive spirit among volunteers.
And get job opportunities. He stressed the need to provide an electronic link between the authorities responsible for volunteering to ensure that volunteer data is constantly updated, while promoting and attracting specialized volunteers with experience in some professions that serve the community.
Dr. Muhammad Ahmed Abdul Rahman, Director of Al Wasl University in Dubai, believes that volunteer work is a national duty, a moral and societal obligation, and a human right to solidarity and communication for man in any place and time and support him financially and morally, and the concept of volunteering carries great moral contents and values and an educational approach in which the efforts and cooperation of volunteers unite. With all segments of society in a state of peace and when disasters and crises occur.
Regarding the impact of volunteering on mental health, Dr. Bushra Khan, a psychotherapist at the Wealth Center in Dubai, confirms the great positive impact of volunteering on the psyche of individuals. By engaging in volunteer work, enthusiasm and motivation for achievement, achieving goals and developing personal capabilities emerge in their minds.
She explained that engaging in volunteer work also develops mental abilities and enhances volunteers’ self-esteem and self-confidence by realizing that they are making a positive difference in the lives of others, helps people with autism to communicate with others, and helps volunteers in general expand their social networks.
Which protects them from isolation and feelings of loneliness and depression. Volunteering also enhances a sense of belonging and empathy with others, which improves their sense of positivity and reduces stress levels.
For her part, Naameh Al Shamsi, a psychologist, family and marital specialist, says that volunteering contributes to satisfying the psychological needs of individuals such as respect and self-esteem, the absence of which generates feelings of helplessness, weakness, a sense of failure, weak determination and lack of passion. She added that volunteering also satisfies social needs, such as belonging, love, and the need to feel accepted by others.
In addition to developing his sense of responsibility, as well as enhancing his ability to direct and control emotions, volunteering also helps to unload the individual’s energy, which in turn helps to achieve psychological balance.
In addition, the Social Affairs, Labor, Population and Human Resources Committee of the Federal National Council identified, during the fifth session of the current session last February, 10 main challenges facing the organization of volunteer work in the country, including the failure to include in academic curricula and academic programs the values and principles of volunteer work and its impact on deepening national affiliation.
The failure to provide channels that provide the necessary support for public benefit associations to expand their volunteer activities, the limited activities to implement polarization and motivation programs to increase the number of citizens registered in the volunteering platform, the absence of initiatives to spread the culture of electronic volunteering, the absence of the results of measurement indicators and the specialized professional volunteer work program, and the failure to register all volunteer teams In the official volunteer platform.
The absence of the results of indicators measuring training and rehabilitation programs to enable volunteers and refine their abilities and skills, the absence of an electronic link mechanism for licenses issued by the National Platform for Volunteering with the concerned authorities, the absence of coordination programs with government agencies to adopt the institutional volunteering program, and the weak coordination with the media sector to raise awareness of what volunteering is.
Luminous models in the field of volunteering
A number of volunteers who contributed to shaping the lines of the history of the Emirati society with its customs, traditions, tolerance and generosity, with proven skills and experience, confirmed that they reaped the positive impact of volunteering on their personal and practical lives, and its reflection on society as a whole, indicating that their involvement in volunteer work is considered part of giving back to their homeland The beloved.
Amina Mehrab narrates how volunteering contributed to her overcoming many ordeals that almost afflicted her life, the most prominent of which was the ordeal of her loss of her brother, who was like a brother and friend to her in a painful tragic accident, which caused her to collapse and great sadness. From volunteer work, she found refuge in it from the pain of loss that squeezes her heart.
Kholoud Abdullah Mohammed, an Emirati student studying renewable and sustainable energy engineering at the University of Sharjah, is one of the role models in giving without interruption.
She has been involved in the field of volunteering since 2016, through the Emirates Volunteers platform, and has participated in more than 80 government activities in various emirates of the country, which had a positive impact on her personality.
Where it increased her self-confidence. And in times of adversity, the minerals of the Emiratis, whom we used to know, always appear united, and here we recall the tweet that a resident posted on his Twitter account, in which he expressed his deep thanks and appreciation to the volunteer Jamal Abdul Rahman, who contributed to saving his elderly father after the oxygen cylinder that helped him breathe ran out. During the Corona pandemic, the son who lives in the Jebel Ali region was unable to reach his elderly father who lives in Dubai International City due to his commitment to restricting movement in the Emirate of Dubai to limit the spread of the Corona virus.
Jamal moved immediately and contacted the concerned company, which was about to close, so he told them that there was an emergency and that they had to wait until he arrived. He went to the elderly father’s residence, brought the cylinder, filled it and returned it to him, and reassured him.
Fayqa Abdul Ghaffar Al-Bastaki, “the mother of the volunteers,” as her colleagues like to call her, because she and her three sons, Saif, Hanan and Basma Al-Bastaki, are registered in the volunteering program, says: Volunteering contributed to strengthening her self-confidence, which reflected positively on her upbringing of her children and preparing them optimally to serve their country and face the challenges of life.