Let’s just say waking up at 5.30 a.m. is not really my usual Friday mornings. My usual Friday mornings consists of lazily waking up at 11 am so I can rush to go visit my grandmother. However, this time I was waking up to be part of a good cause. I was volunteering with Dubai Cares- Walk for Education.
“Walk For Education” is an event held by Dubai Cares to highlight the importance of primary education, which can also lead to decreasing in the cycle of poverty. This walk also raises awareness for children in developing countries who don’t have access to quality primary education.
The 3 km walk is what a child in a developing country walk on average everyday in order to reach his/her school. So Dubai Cares Walk for Education is a symbolic walk to provide the UAE community a first-hand experience of the hardship a child endure to get his/her education.
By 6 am, I grabbed my steaming hot cup of coffee and drove in the beautiful violet stricken sunrise to Jumeirah Beach Park. It was a chilly but beautiful morning to be part of a charitable event. Once I got there, I wore my volunteer’s shirt behind the trees in the parking lot, and then walked to the park to fulfill my part as a good citizen.
We were assigned our team leaders, I was glad to get a friend as my leader. It is always better when you have an upper hand with your boss; in my case, the team leader. I was then sent to my table with a cash box, money and wrist bracelets for the walkers. As the clock was about to strike 8 a.m., people began to arrive. I was the third table from the starting point; soon we were flooded by the amount of people walking in.
I was delighted to see the number of people joining us from various nationalities and all ages. All these people sacrificed their morning sleep to join us to raise funds for the unprivileged children and help in providing them education. There were mothers with their toddlers, school children, couples and many more from the UAE community.
In the background, I can hear the sound of the African drums blasting through the now crowded park, kids running around with their colorful Dubai Cares branded shirts on, and soon before the walk started, my 100 tickets were sold; raising AED 3,000 in one hour is a great achievement for the foundation. Now, I see an array of balloons set free to signal the start of the 3 km walk.
Around 9 am, volunteers gathered their cash boxes and gave them to their team leaders, then headed to join the thousand of people gathered to walk for education. After our 3 km walk, it was time to gather around in the park, join in the activities and have our breakfast since we were starving and needed some warm food.
It was beautiful to see the passion people have for charity and to be part of a good cause. I can rest assured that there are still good people out there and our world is safe.