New Dubai law will mo­ti­vate vol­un­teers

From 20 reg­is­tra­tions in 2009, Vol­un­teer App now has more than 12,000 mem­bers

Gulf News - - Nation - BY JAN­ICE PONCE DE LEON Staff Re­porter

The new law on vol­un­teer­ing in Dubai will pro­mote a cul­ture of giv­ing among res­i­dents and is a one-of-a-kind pro­tec­tion for both vol­un­teers and ben­e­fi­cia­ries, a se­nior of­fi­cial said yes­ter­day.

Law No 5 of 2018 is­sued on Sun­day reg­u­lates vol­un­teer­ing work in the emi­rate and sets con­trols that will mo­ti­vate and pro­tect vol­un­teers.

Dubai’s Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (CDA) has been given the au­thor­ity to draw up plans and pub­lic poli­cies for vol­un­tary work in Dubai and su­per­vise their im­ple­men­ta­tion, among oth­ers.

Hana Bakkar Al Harthi, direc­tor of So­cial Co­he­sion Depart­ment at CDA, told Gulf News that the new law pro­vides a roadmap to de­velop the cul­ture of vol­un­teer­ing.

‘Elim­i­nates grey ar­eas’

“Based on our bench­mark, we have not seen any laws any­where specif­i­cally as­signed for vol­un­teer­ing that gov­erns and pro­tects vol­un­teers and en­ti­ties. The new law has elim­i­nated any grey ar­eas in the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the in­di­vid­ual vol­un­teer and the en­tity [ben­e­fi­ciary],” Al Harthi said.

“Hav­ing a law that gov­erns such a sen­si­tive topic like vol­un­teer­ing is a great step that we see for the fu­ture of vol­un­teerism in Dubai and the UAE,” she added.

Statis­tics

In the first quar­ter of 2018, around 1,200 new vol­un­teers — or 17 vol­un­teers per day — gave back to so­ci­ety. Their vol­un­teer­ing hours con­trib­uted to sav­ings of Dh3.9 mil­lion.

In 2017, vol­un­teers clocked in a to­tal of 88,872 hours, equiv­a­lent to a sav­ings of Dh6.9 mil­lion. To put the 2017 fig­ure in per­spec­tive, it is like work­ing non-stop for 3,703 days or a lit­tle over 10 years.

“In the first three months of 2018, we ac­com­plished more than one-third of the vol­un­teer­ing hours we had in 2017. With this de­cree, I think we will not only be talk­ing about thou­sands of vol­un­teer­ing hours but hun­dreds of thou­sands,” Al Harthi said.

Vol­un­teer­ing has re­ceived a boost since CDA first or­gan­ised it in 2009 with just 20 vol­un­teers to more than 12,000 vol­un­teers now reg­is­tered in the Dubai Vol­un­teer App.

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