DUBAI, United Arab Emirates--(BUSINESS WIRE)--MetLife volunteers had the opportunity recently to participate in several athletic and art activities with Special Olympians in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
As part of MetLife’s Community Week; an initiative funded by MetLife Foundation, the philanthropic arm of global insurer MetLife, 33 MetLife volunteers joined 25 Young Athletes, for a day filled with activities at Dubai Sports World. “Young Athletes,” introduced by Special Olympics, is an inclusive sport and play program for children, aged two to seven years old, with and without intellectual disabilities.
To start the day, volunteers teamed up with the Young Athletes to paint and create a collaborative “health” themed canvas. The art element of the activities, which was introduced this year by Special Olympics UAE, was popular with both athletes and volunteers. The second part of the day saw the MetLife volunteers pair up with the Young Athletes to participate in sports activities and obstacle courses aimed at developing the Young Athletes’ motor skills.
This marks the third year of the partnership between MetLife and Special Olympics with the purpose of expanding Special Olympics Young Athletes across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (“EMEA”). The program supports the rich tradition of MetLife supporting the communities it operates in and serves.
“We are proud to partner with Special Olympics,” said Dimitris Mazarakis, General Manager of MetLife Gulf. “At MetLife, our Community Week is a fantastic opportunity for our employees to give back to the communities in which we live and work.”
Layla Al Hajjaj, Initiatives Director at Special Olympics UAE, said, “It’s always a delight to welcome MetLife volunteers during their Community Week activities. It is important to support and empower young people with intellectual disabilities through group activities and involve their families. Year on year, MetLife’s volunteers have shown great support and eagerness to make these events a success.”
MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), through its subsidiaries and affiliates (“MetLife”), is one of the world’s leading financial services companies, providing insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management to help its individual and institutional customers navigate their changing world. Founded in 1868, MetLife has operations in more than 40 countries and holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.
About MetLife Foundation
At MetLife Foundation, we believe financial health belongs to everyone. We bring together bold solutions, deep financial expertise and meaningful grants to build financial health for people and communities that are underserved and aspire for more. We partner with organizations around the world to create financial health solutions and build stronger communities, engaging MetLife employees to help drive impact. To date, our financial health work has reached more than 6 million low-income individuals in 42 countries. To learn more about MetLife Foundation, visit metlife.org.
About Special Olympics UAE
In October 2017, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced the Special Olympics of the UAE as an independent organization dedicated to changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. Her Highness Sheikha Maryam Bint Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was appointed as the Honorary President, and Her Excellency Shamma Bint Suhail Al Mazroui as Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
The organization aims to empower people with intellectual disabilities through sports while providing them with leadership opportunities to help them display their talents and integrate them with the mainstream society.
Special Olympics UAE has launched a variety of community programs, including those focused on families and young athletes. It has also introduced a number of initiatives to empower people with intellectual disabilities to create a more inclusive society.
The Special Olympics of the UAE received international recognition from the International Special Olympics Foundation-USA in December 2017.