Abu Dhabi / WAM
The Zakat Fund has spent AED 73 million to pay the tuition fees of more than 18,000 needy students of different nationalities over the last five years as part of its Read Project for school students, or â€˜Iqraâ€™.
Abdullah bin Oqeidah Al-Muheiri, Zakat Fund Secretary-General, said that Iqra is one of the first initiatives launched by the fund out of its deep belief in the importance of education and its development.
â€œIt is also one of the key projects carried out by the Zakat Fund as part of the â€˜poor and needyâ€™ category of Zakat recipients in order to help families overcome financial difficulties and provide a secure atmosphere for them so that they wonâ€™t be worried about their study, giving them the opportunity to focus on their academic achievements,â€ he added.
The fund has allocated a budget for this project to cover the costs of learning for children of poor families due to their difficult living conditions, resulting either from the low income of their parents or from the loss of their breadwinner.
Mohammed Al Balushi, Zakat Recipients Department Manager, said that through its Iqra project, the Zakat Fund provides all tuition fees and related expenses needed by school students who canâ€™t afford to pay them, after their financial situation and incapability are verified by the social research committee.
He explained that the value of educational assistance provided by the initiative rose from about AED 6 million for 1,285 needy families in 2009 to AED 15 million for 3,880 families in 2014, before it dropped significantly in 2015 to AED 3.5 million for 192 families.