IT’S OUR MAKING A DIFFERENCE AWARDS
How to vote for the UAE’s unsung heroes
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 fridaymagazine.ae/making-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.
KEEP IN MIND
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 fridaymagazine.ae/making-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