The Abu Dhabi Awards activation team visited Al Bateen Secondary School on Tuesday to brief senior students about the awards and how they can contribute to the wellness of society.
The team aims to reach out to more than 15 private and public schools before the campaign ends on June 27. Now in its 10th year, the Abu Dhabi Awards aim to recognise individuals who have selflessly volunteered their time to build and support the community of Abu Dhabi.
Abdulnasser Al Rashedi, member of the Abu Dhabi Awards organising committee, said that for this year's edition of the awards, the committee have stepped-up efforts to reach out and engage students to nominate.
"We want more students to nominate, but (more than that), we want students to understand what the Abu Dhabi Awards is about and the essence of the Abu Dhabi Awards — the selfless way of giving back to the community as the meaning of that award,” Al Rashedi pointed out, noting the importance of educating them at an early age about the importance of "selfless act”. "Start something in your school and make a difference in your community. We live in an amazing community and there are amazing people, help us in giving back and recognising these people,” he urged the students.
Before the visit by the awards team, some of the students said they know little about the awards. "I don't know too much about it till today but I did know that it is for the unsung heroes. So it's good to be able to participate to bring out the people who are doing good for Abu Dhabi,” said 17-year old Luka Powell. Amanda Baldwin, another student, said: "I think it's really a nice way to appreciate the people who actually do good in the community and wish to remain unknown.”
Closer to home
Al Rashedi's briefing about the previous recipients have touched Luka and Amanda, who made their nominations much closer to home.
"I nominated my mum, Michelle. She helps our neighbours who are away from their family and finding it difficult to cope up with the new environment. She helps them by looking after their child or touring Abu Dhabi and showing them around, things like that. I know these things do not bring a change to the society but obviously it helps the person who she helped. That's why I thought it's a good idea to nominate her,” Luka explained.
"I also nominated my mom, Anita. For me she's my most important person in Abu Dhabi at the moment. She's always positive and hardworking to make everyone happy, to show that they belong. She also does personal training for younger children who are not athletic; and she helps them gain that fitness back,” related Amanda. For Aysha Hajsaleh, another 17-year old, the head of her senior school, Chiara Tabet, is an ideal candidate. "I nominated Dr Tabet because she works so hard tin bringing out the best from everyone in the year so that they can contribute to the community. She works above and beyond her job description,” said Aysha who have personally experienced moral support from the teacher.
David Hutson, principal of the school, noted the importance of exposing students to initiatives like the Abu Dhabi Awards.
"Holistic education is about developing skills and attributes that help students contribute positively to society. It's about giving them opportunities, understand their place in society.”