Dubai / Emirates Business
A non-profit programme set up to offer children from low income families the chance to attend life-changing camps is hoping to increase the number of spaces available this summer.
BOOST, in collaboration with the Dubai Emirates Red Crescent (ERC), was set-up to tackle the problem of children being confined to cramped indoor spaces during the summer months – an issue that can have serious knock on effects to the child’s development as well as the stress levels and self-esteem.
The voluntary led activity programme has been welcomed by many groups across Dubai and is now in search of more corporate sponsors to help increase the number of places available to children this summer and provide free safe transport to and from the summer camp partners.
BOOST, which in its inaugural year, is supported by companies and individuals throughout the local community and aims to help low income families with children aged 8 – 16 years keep their kids fit, healthy and active during the hot summer holiday season, by offering free summer camp places to those who need it most.
Summer camp places during the soaring 40-degree summer months are often not an option for low income earners and as a result have no choice but to leave their children inside at home as it is too hot to play outside for many. For numerous children this can contribute to behavioural issues and can also cause tension within the family.
Speaking about the initiative Tracy said: “Having supported several families over the past few years with practical support, there were peak times in the year when stress levels elevated and summer was one of them. Schools were closed and it became too hot for children to play outdoors and there was no family income to cover the cost of summer camps or sporting activities. I became aware that some children were staying in cramped rooms for the majority of the summer with no peer engagement or stimulation which had a detriment effect on the children’s self-esteem and behaviour.”
“The BOOST ethos centres around the fact that every child deserves the opportunity to keep fit, healthy and active in the summer months and we understand how hard it can be for low income, hardworking families to make this happen. This is why we want to ensure every child in the UAE has the opportunity to access affordable sports and activities.”
For the first time BOOST will be providing activities for over 100 children ages between 8 and 16 this summer. BOOST works in partnership with Dubai based schools and charities to identify families in need of support. The initiative has already secured free places in summer camps however is looking for businesses to come forward to provide free services such as bus transport, free sports kit for the children and healthy fresh packed lunches and sponsorships.