How to vote for the UAE’s un­sung he­roes

Friday - - Front Page -

They are the na­tion’s un­sung he­roes – the peo­ple self­lessly and qui­etly re­build­ing schools, col­lect­ing junk or money, climb­ing moun­tains or walk­ing around the world (some­times back­wards!) to help strangers in des­per­ate need. From as young as 13 up to the age of 80, they have housed, ed­u­cated, helped and saved the lives of mil­lions around the world. Over the years, Fri­day has cel­e­brated these ex­tra­or­di­nary and in­spi­ra­tional peo­ple by fea­tur­ing their in­cred­i­ble sto­ries in our pages. Now, for the first time ever, you can help hon­our these phil­an­thropic cham­pi­ons in our Fri­day Mak­ing A Dif­fer­ence Awards.

All you have to do is nom­i­nate the per­son, char­ity, com­pany or school you feel de­serves to be recog­nised for their unique work to celebrate the enor­mous dif­fer­ence they have made to peo­ple’s lives, so­ci­ety and the planet. ‘Ev­ery

is­sue we and the read­ers are in awe of the in­cred­i­ble peo­ple who work tire­lessly to help oth­ers,’ says Fri­day editor Karen Pasquali Jones. ‘They de­vote their time and money – even giv­ing away what lit­tle they have them­selves – to re­ally make a dif­fer­ence to oth­ers’ lives.

‘Mak­ing A Dif­fer­ence is such a pop­u­lar sec­tion in Fri­day be­cause it not only cel­e­brates the high-pro­file phil­an­thropic or­gan­i­sa­tions, but also the per­son next door, who is equally de­voted to do­ing their bit for so­ci­ety. But telling their story is no longer enough. We want to hon­our these amaz­ing phi­lan­thropists and say thank you for be­ing so car­ing and spe­cial.

‘That’s why we’ve de­cided to cre­ate the Fri­day Mak­ing A Dif­fer­ence Awards, which will give the read­ers a chance to shine a spotlight on the UAE’s char­i­ta­ble cham­pi­ons.’

There’s no short­age of in­spi­ra­tion. From Abu Dhabi school­boy Ab­dul Mu­keet, who made pa­per bags for gro­cery stores to curb plas­tic pol­lu­tion, to Ab­dul Man­nan Ja­malud­din, a watch­man in Shar­jah who saved most of his Dh1,200 monthly salary to build a school in his im­pov­er­ished vil­lage back home in Bangladesh, we have all been touched by the huge sac­ri­fices and clever ideas that have trans­formed the lives and world around us.

We also high­lighted the story of Narayanan Kr­ish­nan, a chef at a Swiss five-star ho­tel, who quit his job to feed men­tally chal­lenged and des­ti­tute peo­ple in Madu­rai, in south­ern In­dia.

Then there was Karibeeran Parameswaran from the south­ern In­dian state of Tamil Nadu who lost his three young chil­dren in the 2004 tsunami that killed hun­dreds of thou­sands. Although dis­traught, he and his wife Choodamani opened the doors of their house to chil­dren who were or­phaned by the killer wave. To­day, it is home to more than 40 young­sters who call them Mum and Dad.

We have also show­cased groups such as Raaga Fac­tory and Mal­haar, both Dubaibased am­a­teur mu­si­cians who per­form to raise funds for char­i­ties such as Dubai Cares, Al Jalila Foun­da­tion, Takatof, and Spe­cial Olympics UAE, among oth­ers.

Your nom­i­na­tion could be a friend, a col­league, a mem­ber of your fam­ily or even a neigh­bour. The only rule is that they should be liv­ing in or help­ing some­one from the UAE (ex­cept for our In­ter­na­tional Award, which is open to any­one no mat­ter where they live) and must be in­spir­ing and self­less.

They need to be as de­serv­ing as the peo­ple fea­tured in our pages – such as

Umarani Pad­man­ab­han, who as­sists ex­pa­tri­ates who re­quire le­gal help and also makes ar­range­ments to repa­tri­ate the bod­ies of ex­pats to their na­tive coun­try.

Or per­haps the man next door, like Michael Man­l­o­gon, a Filipino ex­pat who col­lects empty cans, sells them to a re­cy­cling cen­tre and uses the money to help un­der­priv­i­leged chil­dren get an ed­u­ca­tion in poor vil­lages in the Philip­pines.

These are the kind of peo­ple who move us, mo­ti­vate and in­spire us, who teach us how to give, even when they have very lit­tle, or noth­ing, ex­cept kind­ness.

But you don’t have to fol­low our lead. You can nom­i­nate any­one who you think de­serves an award for mak­ing a dif­fer­ence.

Nom­i­na­tions are open un­til mid­night Septem­ber 19. Once closed, we will short­list the en­tries for each cat­e­gory for you to vote for online at fri­­ing-ad­if­fer­ence-awards. The per­son, group or or­gan­i­sa­tion who gets the most votes in each cat­e­gory will be the win­ner.

There is also a spe­cial prize for the per­son, busi­ness, char­ity, group or school who has im­pressed the Fri­day editor in the Editor’s Choice award.

A panel of em­i­nent judges, in­clud­ing the editor, will pick one of the cat­e­gory win­ners to be named the over­all win­ner of Fri­day’s Mak­ing A Dif­fer­ence Awards 2015.


A few guide­lines for our read­ers when sub­mit­ting their nom­i­na­tions The in­di­vid­ual, group or or­gan­i­sa­tion should have made a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact in im­prov­ing peo­ple’s lives and must ei­ther be based in the UAE or be help­ing peo­ple in this coun­try.

You can be a res­i­dent of the UAE help­ing peo­ple in In­dia for ex­am­ple, or an Amer­i­can­based char­ity help­ing res­i­dents in the UAE.

The im­pact can be mea­sured by ac­tions, deeds, or even the abil­ity to mo­ti­vate oth­ers to work to­ward help­ing in­di­vid­u­als less for­tu­nate, or a com­bi­na­tion of these fac­tors. BE­FORE NOM­I­NAT­ING ASK YOUR­SELF THESE QUES­TIONS: Is their work an in­spi­ra­tion to oth­ers? Is the per­son paid or a vol­un­teer? If paid, is the ac­com­plish­ment truly above and be­yond?

What is the scale of the ac­com­plish­ment and is it unique? It doesn’t have to be a huge amount of money, but the sac­ri­fice could be large – re­mem­ber, a man who gives Dh10 is mak­ing a much big­ger sac­ri­fice than another who gives Dh20, if that is all the money he has.

It doesn’t even have to in­volve rais­ing money – it could be a sim­ple idea that has helped mil­lions or an al­tru­is­tic act that means much more than cash.


You can nom­i­nate by fill­ing in the form on the next page, scan­ning it and email­ing it to fri­

You could also mail the form to Fri­day, PO Box 6519, Dubai, UAE. Or drop off the com­pleted form at the re­cep­tion Gate 3 of the Gulf News of­fice on Shaikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Please men­tion ‘Fri­day awards’ on the en­ve­lope.

The nom­i­na­tions should in­clude the name and a con­tact num­ber of the per­son/ or­gan­i­sa­tion you nom­i­nate.


You can also nom­i­nate by vis­it­ing fri­­ing-a-dif­fer­enceawards and click­ing the ‘Nom­i­nate’ but­ton.

YOUR NOM­I­NA­TION might be the MAN NEXT DOOR, such as Michael Man­l­o­gon, who SELLS empty CANS and uses the money to HELP poor CHIL­DREN get an ED­U­CA­TION in the Philip­pines

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.