Focusing on bolstering the efforts of the third sector, the Authority of Social Contribution (Ma’an) has introduced a novel Community Volunteering Programme Grant 2023, with the potential to reach up to Dh100,000, a high-ranking official has revealed.
Maysa Alnuwais, Director of Community Engagement and Volunteering Division at Ma’an, emphasized that the goal is to bolster the third sector encompassing non-profit organizations, social enterprises, and community volunteers. This initiative aims to tackle social challenges within the capital by offering opportunities to implement innovative solutions that can genuinely and measurably influence the social landscape.
Alnuwais stated, “The new Community Volunteering Program Grant 2023 provides an opportunity for licensed not-for-profit organizations, social enterprises, volunteer groups, academia, and private sector organizations, to apply for a grant of up to Dh100,000 to support them in operating a variety of grant-aided community volunteering programs.”
She added, “Applicants are welcome to execute any of the existing programs in our 2023 brochure or propose entirely new programs addressing a social priority in Abu Dhabi through activating volunteers to create a positive social impact.”
Prioritizing Social Needs
According to Alnuwais, the programs are designed to benefit a wide cross-section of citizens and expatriates, including individuals with determination, elderly citizens, at-risk youth, blue-collar workers, women, and society as a whole.
The lineup comprises 27 program concepts aimed at addressing crucial social priorities such as physical and mental health, environmental concerns, loneliness, domestic violence, substance abuse, and women’s empowerment, among others.
For instance, programs like ‘Fit Fam’ and ‘Active Parks’ are dedicated to physical health, while ‘Everyone Is An Artist’ and ‘Friendly Support’ focus on mental health. Initiatives such as ‘Journey of Generations’ and ‘Teach and Learn’ target improving the lives of senior citizens, whereas ‘Social Scouts’ and ‘Future Leaders’ concentrate on youth engagement. Programs like ‘Recovering Together’ and ‘Mentor Match’ aim to aid individuals recovering from substance abuse. Moreover, initiatives like ‘Community Clean Up’ are aimed at preserving the environment by engaging up to 500 volunteers in mass clean-up activities.
Alnuwais pointed out that Ma’an is committed to nurturing a vibrant third sector that can have a sustained and positive societal impact. She noted, “The 2023 grant helps to create a culture of volunteering in Abu Dhabi and enables third sector entities to achieve their CSR goals by providing them with an opportunity to operate existing community engagement programs, or propose entirely new ones.”
Advancing Community Cohesion
Alnuwais stressed that a robust and activated third sector is pivotal to Ma’an’s strategic mission of fostering collaborative and harmonious communities. She reiterated, “We will continue to provide the third sector with dedicated funding mechanisms and grants for innovative projects, sustainable funding models, and access to financial resources to further support their programs, initiatives, and overall operations.”
Notable Milestones in 2022
Alnuwais highlighted that the initiatives and programs launched by Ma’an have significantly impacted families, individuals, and the broader Abu Dhabi community. She stated, “Our community engagement programs played a key role in providing volunteering opportunities for more than 1,300 volunteers, signifying an impressive 400 percent jump in comparison to 2021.”
Alnuwais mentioned that some of these opportunities were specialized, like the Ghaya Programme which aided around 200 individuals from low-income families in achieving financial stability. Additionally, nearly 210 senior citizens enhanced their social and mental well-being through the ‘Journey of Generations’ program.
She also noted that the Ma’an Social Incubator saw an 80 percent increase in the number of applications received in 2022, highlighting the growing interest in driving positive change in the capital. This incubator empowered 54 social enterprises operating in Abu Dhabi, equipping them with the necessary tools and support to thrive and create a lasting positive impact.
For more information about the 2023 grant, visit Ma’an Community Volunteering Program (CVP) (qualtrics.com).