: School children and their parents have expressed their gratitude to the ‘Together We Are Good’ programme for receiving essential distance learning devices to help with their distance learning at home. The authority’s Education Support programme, launched in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK),  aimed to support families that have been financially impacted by the current health and economic challenges until the end of the current academic term.

In recognition of the unique and immediate needs of the current health and economic situation, particularly for younger members of the community, ‘Together We Are Good’ has benefitted children of parents across the Emirates who have been impacted financially during these unprecedented times, ensuring they continue to receive vital distance learning equipment in order to continue their education.

In response to a community callout, more than 4,000 devices, including laptops and tablets have been contributed by 24 Abu Dhabi government entities as part of a collaboration between the Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an and Abu Dhabi Digital Authority.

The generous contributions reflect the true value and spirit of cohesion and collaboration in the Abu Dhabi community, with organizations coming together to make a difference for the common good.

Ayna Chembai, a Grade 4 pupil at The Model School, is among the students to benefit with a laptop and thanked Ma’an and the generosity of Abu Dhabi community.

She said: “I am very happy to have received a laptop which will help me study much better at home. I am extremely grateful to everyone who has contributed and I am very excited to be using this laptop every day for my school work.”

After applying to Ma’an’s microsite for support, Ayna’s laptop was delivered within 15 days. Her father, Shajir Chembai, praised the programme for making a big difference to his daughter’s education at home.

He said: “By the time I had applied, we received the laptop within 15 days. It was very difficult for my daughter to learn online before but this has made it much easier.

“Many people have had problems during these times with people losing their jobs or having their salaries reduced and contributions like these are a big help. I am very thankful for the support of Ma’an, the Abu Dhabi Government and other organisations.”

Sisters Eliza and Phoebe Thomas are also using learning devices that have been contributed with The New Model School pupils now making good use of the donated resources at such a vital time.

Eliza, a Grade 11 student said: “I will be sitting my exams soon, which is an important time for students and receiving a laptop that I can use to study every day will help me a lot. I am really thankful to Ma’an as they are helping a lot of people who are in need which is for a good cause.”

Her sister, Phoebe, a Grade 9 pupil added: “By receiving a laptop will motivate me even more and do the best I can in my studies. It’s very kind of Ma’an and other organisations to help those people who do not have the necessary facilities or equipment and am extremely grateful for their assistance.”

Another pupil to appreciate the generosity is Grade 3 pupil Omar Asaad, who studies at Vision Private School. He said: “I felt really happy when I received the laptop to continue my distance learning at home and I would like to thank Ma’an and those we contributed to the ‘Together We Are Good’ programme for their great efforts.”

His mother Suad Asaad described the laptop as a ‘wonderful gift’. She said: “It has brought happiness to the heart of my children and I hope there are many people feeling happy like us.”

The ‘Together We Are Good’ programme is the first project to come to fruition as a result of Ma’an’s Social Fund that allows community contributions to help tackle social challenges. The Social Fund is the official government channel to receive contributions from the community to tackle pressing social challenges.

Participants wishing to contribute financially to ‘Together We Are Good’ can send SMS messages to 6670 (AED 1000), 6678 (500 AED), 6683 (100 AED) and 6658 (50 AED). They can also call 8005-MAAN for volunteering and in-kind and financial contributions above AED 1,000 or send messages on WhatsApp on 0543055366. In-kind contributions include equipment, buildings, services, and time as well as expert volunteering efforts.