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AUS Hand in Hand Project: Changing lives, weaving community bonds
The Hand in Hand project, led by the American University of Sharjah's (AUS) Community Service and Outreach office (CSO) in partnership with Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services, continues to foster the spirit of community collaboration. In just two weeks, 70 AUS student volunteers dedicated their efforts to renovate a house in Auteen, Sharjah, transforming it into a home for four children, their mother and grandmother.
Funded by the Charity Used Book Sale initiative and the, the renovation process covered furnishing, painting, cleaning and decor.
"Our Hand in Hand project is not just about bricks and mortar; it's about building bridges of hope, community and unity. To witness the spirit of giving from our students and the joy it brings to families is deeply humbling," said Aisha Ali, CSO Manager at AUS.
Since its launch in 2009, the Hand in Hand initiative has successfully completed 27 renovation projects, all being funded entirely through donations from students and their families and charity accounts.
Judy Debs, a biology major at AUS, reflected on her volunteer experience.
"The journey was transformative, granting me a deeper appreciation and gratitude for my own blessings. Assisting this family wasn't just a task, but a profound act of beauty and purpose. Despite the challenges, the sense of purpose and incredible teamwork made everything worthwhile. I hope to contribute once more before this chapter concludes," she said.
Nahed Ahmed, the mother of the beneficiary household, said: “I had never envisioned something like this. The transformation and the joy you have all brought into our home is beyond words. Thank you for this ray of hope and the laughter-filled moments."
Mona Abdul Karim Al Yafei, Director of Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services, commended the volunteer initiative undertaken by AUS students who dedicated their efforts to renovate the residence of Tasneem Ahmed’s family, one of the four children and a student at Al Wafa School for Capacity Development which belongs to Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services. She emphasized that this initiative truly exemplifies the core principles of social responsibility, a value they hold in high regard.
"The enduring partnership between Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services and American University of Sharjah has a rich history spanning several years. It is beyond doubt that this collaboration plays a pivotal role in raising awareness about the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities and their rights. It also promotes volunteerism and firmly establishes social responsibility as a fundamental behavior and value. We encourage both individuals and institutions within our society to wholeheartedly embrace and further develop this commitment. Our aim is for it to become a lasting legacy and cultural tradition, cherished by generations to come," she said
In a world where actions often speak louder than words, the Hand in Hand Project, exemplifies the power of community collaboration and the tangible change it can foster. This project doesn't merely chronicle the renovation of a home; it paints a picture of the transformative journey of young AUS volunteers, the gratitude of beneficiaries and the university's commitment to social responsibility.