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CSR in Action sends ten university students on one-month campaign organised by Al Ahli Holding Group and 10th CSR Summit

Ten university students from across the UAE, including five Emiratis, have today been sent on their way to develop specific Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects as part of a new initiative promoting CSR at a grassroots level in the country.

The Higher Colleges of Technology and Zayed University students have been divided into five groups, teaming up with 15 CSR professionals from various organisations including Shell, UAEExchange, MBC Group, Ericsson, HSBC and General Electric.

After undertaking a four-day intensive CSR training programme which concluded last week in Dubai, the groups will now have one month to plan and implement a CSR project of their choice, before presenting the results to a regional audience of industry professionals at the 10th CSR Summit, taking place from 20-23 May at The Address Hotel, Dubai Marina.

Called 'CSR in Action', the initiative is organised by Al Ahli Holdings Group in partnership with the 10th CSR Summit, and has been introduced to build awareness of CSR among young people in the UAE and equip them with practical skills to drive sustainable and impactful CSR programmes.

Lina Hourani, Director of CSR at Al Ahli Holding Group, said, "For several years now, Al Ahli Holding Group has worked hard on educating and sharing knowledge about sustainability and the importance of CSR among practitioners and youth throughout the Middle East."

"The CSR in Action initiative is being introduced for the first time in the UAE to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the CSR Summit, and we are very much looking forward to seeing the outcomes of the participants' projects that serve and support our society. There were certainly many ideas generated last week, and I am sure there will be some very exciting projects as a result," she added.

Tarun Yenna, an American student studying International Business and Management at Rochester Institute of Technology in Dubai, who is part of the Women Empowerment project, added, "This has been an incredible experience. The presentations we have seen have given us so many different perspectives and I've got a lot of new ideas from it."

"Ashraf Hamouda from the United Nations World Food Programme was a particularly inspirational speaker for me because I hope to start my own business soon with sustainability at its core and his perspective was incredibly insightful," Yenna added.

The CSR in Action initiative is one of many new additions to the CSR Summit in 2013, which is celebrating ten years of promoting development and innovation of CSR in the Middle East.

The four-day dedicated industry summit has attracted a high profile line-up of more than 40 international and regional CSR experts sharing their latest developments, challenges, and success stories of impactful Corporate Social Responsibility.

Other new additions this year include the results of a Middle East CSR and Sustainability survey, presented exclusively by consultancy firm Mercer; and an exclusive case study on CSR in Sport from the Asian Football Confederation.

The 10th CSR Summit begins on Monday 20 May with Pre-Summit CSR Master Classes, followed by a two-day conference, before concluding with two Post-Summit Master Classes on Thursday 23 May.

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