Thousands of schoolchildren in developing countries walk anywhere between 3km to 6km just to get to school everyday and Dubai residents somehow got a taste of this on Friday.
More than 8,000 Dubai residents symbolically walked for 3km on Friday at the Dubai Creek Park for the sixth "Walk for Education” programme organised by philanthropic organisation Dubai Cares.
The 45-minute walk is Dubai Cares' second community initiative in two months — the first being ‘Rebuild Palestine. Start with Education.'
"In both instances, we have been overwhelmed by the great support we received from the UAE community. Our ‘Walk for Education' is a show of solidarity with those children fighting the odds to gain education in order to make a difference in their future as well the future of their family, community and country,” said Tariq Al Gurg, CEO of Dubai Cares.
"At the heart of the event, we are highlighting a very critical issue — every child's right to education and equal opportunity. When children in developing countries struggle to access quality education, they are being denied the opportunity for personal and professional growth as well as the chance to be positive contributors to society,” he added.
The symbolic walk was a way of filling the shoes of underprivileged students around the world who need to walk every day to and from school. But Noura Bin Kalban, associate community engagement manager at Dubai Cares, said the comparison is there, but what happens in the real world is much more complex.
"Here, we walked on paved roads. In the case of the children out there, they walk and cross rivers, climb mountains and [rugged terrain] just to get education,” Noura told Gulf News.
Participating in the walk gives residents a chance to contribute in giving these children better access to education. Every participant, except children aged five and below, paid a registration fee of Dh30, which will go to Dubai Cares' pool of money that will be used for education projects. These projects are currently helping 10 million school-aged children in 35 developing countries.
Nympha Quimosquimos, an accountant, regularly participates in charity walks, but said Walk for Education is closest to her heart.
"I'm a true believer of advocating for education,” she told Gulf News. "I think education helps us to lead better lives as we will be able to make informed decisions and choices and equip us to thrive in a changing world.”
Source: Gulf News