Two large donations from UAE’s embassy in Canada

| January 4, 2016 | 0 Comments
At the cheque presentation, from left, Hamad Al Awadi, counsellor at the embassy; Ambassador Mohammed Saif Helal Al Shehhi; Gabriel Miller, director of public issues for the Canadian Cancer Society; and Jamal Al Zaabi, attaché.

At the cheque presentation, from left, Hamad Al Awadi, counsellor at the embassy; Ambassador Mohammed Saif Helal Al Shehhi; Gabriel Miller, director of public issues for the Canadian Cancer Society; and Jamal Al Zaabi, attaché.

Over the last few months of 2015, the embassy of the United Arab Emirates injected $20,000 into two Canadian health-care organizations. First, at the end of August 2015, Ambassador Mohammed Saif Helal Al Shehhi held a press conference to announce the embassy’s donation of $10,000 to the Canadian Cancer Society to support ground-breaking research and provide cancer information and support services for people living with the disease.
In October, the ambassador announced that the embassy would also donate $10,000 to the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto. That donation was provided in memory of Gertrude Dyke, a Canadian nurse who worked in UAE for 38 years to deliver approximately 90,000 UAE babies. Known as Doctora Latifa (“doctor of mercy”) in the UAE, she began her work during the country’s early history, when it was poor, and when as many as one in two infants died and one in three women died in childbirth.
“This donation today is, in small part, our way of giving back to Canada a little of what Dr. Latifa gave to us,” the ambassador said at the announcement, adding later that Dyke was in the UAE when the country “had nothing” — before the discovery of oil. “As many of you know, the UAE was named the largest donor of international aid, according to its national income, for 2013–14, providing almost US $5 billion dollars each year to humanitarian projects worldwide.”
The ambassador quoted Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE’s current president, who has said: “Humanitarian diplomacy is one of the main pillars of our foreign policy.”
Referring to that day’s cheque presentation, the ambassador added: “We hope we are continuing that tradition here today.”
SickKids is the most research-intensive hospital in Canada, and the largest centre dedicated to improving children’s health in the country. The hospital treats more than 100,000 patients a year and has 10,000 staff members and volunteers. Gifts such as that from the UAE help the hospital achieve its mission to improve children’s health, create ground-breaking scientific and clinical advancements and provide training to the next generation of experts in child health.
“We’re incredibly fortunate to have the UAE embassy and the ambassador come forward with this donation,” said Colin Hennigar, director of major gifts at SickKids, “especially in memory of Gertrude, who was a nurse in the UAE, and what a nice, full-circle thing to come back to help children in Canada. It’s a great gesture.”

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