Giving in the Digital Age

29/12/2020 General | H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori

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Captivating stories stem from noble human feelings. What’s even more beautiful and deeper are the stories that come from real life experiences centered around giving. Such stories, albeit simple, have a tremendous energy to make changes for a better life.

My thoughts might appear to be a deviation from the usual nature of my articles, but they are not. In fact, they are inspired by the beautiful and simple stories told by Emirati and non-Emirati volunteers through the UAE’s digital platform for resources on volunteering, “Volunteers.ae”.

I was spellbound by those stories which were coupled with honest practical experience, and found myself moving from one story to another as I grew ever impressed and appreciative. I came across the story of Jawaher Ahmad, 21, who in the COVID-19 crisis, found an opportunity to repay the kindness of her dear country, by becoming a frontline volunteer to combat the pandemic. I also come across a young Asian, Alam Rajab, who volunteered through the platform to show his love and loyalty to the UAE. I liked the story of the Arab doctor, Husam, who achieved happiness after volunteering at the screening centers, and Khaled, whose COVID-19 infection did not hold him back from volunteering at the quarantine centers, and many others who rejoiced volunteering and giving.

Digital technologies, especially the Internet and social media, brought about endless opportunities for millions of young men and women around the world to find true happiness through giving and volunteering. A key virtue of this digital age is that giving is no longer limited to the rich and able. Today, everyone can achieve happiness by supporting fellow humans anywhere. Those who can’t afford to give money, can provide their skills for a few hours on digital volunteering platforms and make a key difference in someone's life. 

This is what 12,000 volunteers do on the UN’s digital platform. They provide their services and skills during their free time to needy people from other parts of the world.  "Translators Without Borders" is a non-profit organization that does similar work. Through its digital platform, it has produced more than 10 million words in all languages of the world. Its volunteers served humanitarian organizations deployed in poverty and disaster zones. There are many such examples of how volunteers contributed to this world.

All credit is due to those who found in the digital age, an opportunity to broaden the meaning of humanity, asserting that happiness is driven by giving, rather than by making personal gains.

Speaking of which, I would like to take this chance to thank Emirates Foundation and Ministry of Community Development for their outstanding effort in furnishing a volunteering platform for all those who wish to add a deeper meaning to their lives through volunteering.

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