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AUS Community Services Department wins Sharjah Voluntary Award
The Office of Student Affairs at American University of Sharjah (AUS) held a ceremony on February 5, 2014 at the university's Student Center to celebrate the Sharjah Voluntary Award won for the second time by its Community Services Department. The award was given to the department for its Hand in Hand project of renovating orphan homes in the emirate.
To qualify for the award, the Sharjah Voluntary Award Committee required the voluntary work to benefit the less privileged members of the community and for the project to have a great impact on community development and promoting a stronger society, as well as being a fulfilling experience for the volunteers. This edition of the Sharjah Voluntary Award is the eleventh locally, the seventh in the Arab world level and the first on the Muslim world level.
The winning AUS project is an initiative that began over two years ago with the aim of renovating homes of orphans in Sharjah. Beneficiaries of the Hand in Hand project are orphans under the care of Sharjah Social Empowerment Foundation.
Student volunteers who participated in this project worked on it continuously in different stages. Prior to the actual project, the student volunteers initially raised money for building materials, decor items, furniture and contractor fees. The volunteers then engaged in cleaning, painting and decorating the house for a period of three weeks.
"Hand in Hand is a unique community service project because we get to do the work directly with our own hands," said Duaa Zahi, a senior computer engineering student. "It is very exhausting but it makes you feel that your efforts and exhaustion are transformed into a positive outcome. You see a new home; you see happiness in the eyes of its people when they witness how drastically their home was improved. All of this is done by the students' efforts who were volunteering in the project," Zahi continued.
"The Sharjah Voluntary Award is a well-deserved one for the university and our students. I commend the Community Services Department for its sixth successful Hand in Hand Project of renovating orphan homes, which is highly popular with our student volunteers," said Dr. Moza Al Shehhi, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. "I wish to thank His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qassimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah and President of AUS, for vesting this award to AUS for the second time and to our partner, the Sharjah Social Empowerment Foundation, for providing our students with volunteering opportunities. I would like to especially acknowledge our student volunteers for all their efforts and for a job well done!" she added.