Abdullah bin Zayed chairs annual meeting of Emirates Foundation’s Board of Trustees

ABU DHABI, 27th November 2016 (WAM) – H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Chairman of Emirates Foundation, presided over the annual meeting of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees (BoT), held today and attended by the Board members and the Foundation’s executive team.

Sheikh Abdullah praised the instrumental role of the BoT members and their contribution to shaping, guiding, and delivering the Foundation’s positive programmes with far-reaching national impact.

Describing the Foundation’s long-standing partners as “role models on what successful partnerships can achieve, Sheikh Abdullah highlighted that it was through partnerships with the private and public sectors that the Foundation could harness its distinctive philanthropy model and engagement programs to positively and permanently impact the lives of lives of young people in the UAE.

During the meeting, the Board of Trustees emphasized the importance of the long-term financial sustainability of Emirates Foundation programs to positively influence the socio-economic growth and progress of the nation.

In this respect, they agreed that creating real social impact and value can only be done with long-term horizons. This will require the development of viable income generating models for each Emirates Foundation program.

The Board of Trustees discussed new trends of social impact investing, particularly, the concept of social impact bonds. They further agreed that social impact bonds offer a new funding opportunity that will benefit both the Foundation and investing partners and ensure long term and sustainable impact on youth development.

Sheikh Abdullah concluded by recognizing the efforts of Emirates Foundation over the last year for championing efficient operations and economies of scale and commended BOT members for their continued partnership, commitment and support, which will enable the Foundation to continue delivering on its mission to positively impact the lives of youth throughout the United Arab Emirates.

Maytha Al Habsi, Deputy CEO of Emirates Foundation highlighted many initiatives that benefited thousands of Emirati youth. These included voluntary campaigns under the “Takatof” Program, supporting youth build their self-confidence and providing them a sense of purpose that is disconnected from paid employment. Emergency volunteer response awareness campaigns and interactive workshops under “Sanid” Program, preparing youth to support the country in the case of a natural disaster and strengthening their confidence and leadership skills. Financial literacy trainings under Esref Sah, helping youth navigate the complexities of the financial world, and educating them on how to save, manage their personal finance and avoid high levels of indebtedness.

Science and Technology initiatives under Think Science program, providing youth with the solid STEM skills and encouraging them to innovate and deploy technology that addresses some of today’s broader socio-economic challenges. Lastly, non-academic vocational skills trainings offered under Kayani program to support youth who are not academically inclined and notably young women living in areas with less access to jobs and training, supporting them access the labor market.

Emirates Foundation’s Board of Trustees is an advisory body that brings together senior executives in leading international and local firms, including Shell, Total, BP, GS Holding Corporation, Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY), ADNOC.

This year’s meeting was attended by Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and Director-General of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC); Vicki Hollub, CEO of Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY); Huh Dong Soo, Senior Vice President, GS Holding Corporation; Sami Iskander, executive Vice President for joint ventures, Shell; Michael Townsend, BP’s regional president Middle East, and Emirates Foundation’s senior management team.