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AUS celebrates winning first place at Emirates Foundation Social Volunteering Competition
American University of Sharjah (AUS) celebrated winning first place in the prestigious Emirates Foundation Social Volunteering Competition 2016 at the AUS Student Center today. The award was presented to the AUS Community Services at a ceremony held in Abu Dhabi yesterday by His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Chairman of Emirates Foundation.
Launched in collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the competition aims to foster a culture of volunteering across UAE in order to contribute to creating a positive and sustainable change in society.
After being shortlisted among the top three winning universities in the competition, the Office of Student Affairs' Community Services was declared the first place winner. Community Services earned the award for its active engagement in terms of the number of projects created, the number of volunteers that participated in its projects, volunteering hours completed, students who participated in the Takatof Volunteering Essentials Training as well as other related criteria which were evaluated by the judges.
Dr. Moza Al Shehhi, Dean of students at AUS said, "The portfolio of AUS social projects presented to Emirates Foundation was an array of on and off campus social initiatives implemented by the Office of Student Affairs and a year's worth of active volunteering by our students. Among 12 universities competing for this award, AUS has gained the attention of judges for the quality of its social projects and the highly active student volunteers who have logged considerable hours of voluntary work.
"I commend our students for their hard work and dedication. This is a well-deserved award for our students as well as for the staff for providing all the support needed to achieve this prestigious award. We are all proud of this recognition," added Dr. Al Sehhi.
Zulfikar Shahpurwala, a business major and a participant from OSA's Community Services also spoke on the occasion and said, "The entire experience has been really rewarding for us. We have worked on many projects that aim to serve society and being part of OSA Community Services has helped us to realize that it is good to give back to the community."
The win was based on providing the foundation with volunteering activity reports conducted from Spring 2015 to October 2016. The projects listed in the reports included Fun Day at Al Thiqah Club for the handicapped, visits to the elderly home, Dar Al Amaan, Dubai Rehabilitation Center for the Disabled and projects with Manzil (Special Needs Center, Sharjah). Other campaigns included Food for the Needy, the Cleanco appreciation event, Community Services Farm Initiative, Sri Lanka Volunteering Trip (renovation project), Autism Fundraising Event (during AUSMUN) and many more.