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du has pledged AED1 million over the next two years in support of the philanthropic initiatives of Emirates Foundation, the national foundation of the UAE established to facilitate public-private partnerships for empowering youth, as its Gold Partner. The collaboration between the two entities will commence in January 2017 until December 2018 with an aim to invest in youth development initiatives in the UAE.

""In line with du's overall sustainability and business objectives to support the UAE community and to empower its youth, we are proud to sponsor an organization that believes in the importance of the next generation,"" said Osman Sultan, chief executive officer, du. ""Our support of Emirates Foundation through this partnership will help further their work and thus strengthen community development overall. By investing in the future of our country's youth, we are helping to cultivate a sustainable knowledge economy that will yield the leaders and innovators of tomorrow.""

Emirates Foundation was conceived in 2005 with the goal of bridging the gap between the private sector and the community. Its administrative expenses are covered by the Government of Abu Dhabi, while its program expenses are covered by donations from the private sector. Emirates Foundation has six key programs, whose scale is continuously growing, that are dedicated to enhancing UAE communities: Esraf Sah, a financial literacy program; Kafa'at, dedicate to private sector exposure; Kayani, providing vocational training skills; Think Science, a science exhibition run by students; Takatof, a social volunteering program; and Sanid, an emergency response volunteering program. To date, these programs have collectively generated 60000 participants and volunteers.

Clare Woodcraft-Scott, chief executive officer of Emirates Foundation said: ""At Emirates Foundation, we acknowledge that philanthropy cannot operate in a vacuum. Engaging Business partners such as du is essential to addressing youth development systemically and sustainably.""

Woodcraft added: ""Our broad spectrum of programs - from leadership development, to volunteering, and promoting innovation and social enterprises in the UAE and GCC at large - are all invaluable ingredients for engaging the private sector to give back to the community and play an active role in youth development. We are looking forward to working with du and engaging their teams in our programs and see a lot of benefits for both organizations, particularly in terms of introducing our youth to the telecommunications sector and providing them with essential relevant skills to explore careers on this front.""

du was founded on the principle of adding value to all of its stakeholders, especially the community it operates in. This principle is manifested in its initiatives to foster entrepreneurship and innovation, education and wellness, and development of society. In addition to our du Graduate Trainee programs and our commitment to Emiratisation, we support UAE students from a grass roots level to become viable contributors to the UAE economy. Over the years we have inaugurated du Multimedia labs at Zayed Universities in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and as a company that prioritizes progress and moving towards a knowledge-based economy in the UAE, we launched the Agent 055 Network for college and university students to learn entrepreneurial skills while still studying, alongside our partnership with American University of Dubai and the employment of 10 Emirati students as summer trainees and 33 students as interns in 2015.

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