Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – 19th June 2019
HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Sultan Al Nahyan opens photography exhibit in aid of a new school for poverty stricken children in Zanzibar
As part of CR Hope Foundation’s initiative in partnership with Café de la Paix, HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Sultan Al Nahyan formally opened Light and Giving; an interactive photography exhibit to raise support and awareness for a new school project in Zanzibar.
The founder of CR Hope Foundation, Renos Fountoulakis shared that he recently resigned from his job as a marketing VP with a prominent company so he could give his full attention to the project. He shared: I feel so strongly in my heart that I need to help the world be a better place. I was visiting Zanzibar on holiday and immediately, I felt a powerful pull on my heart to help the children there and so I hatched a plan to build a school. I was offered land by a local shop keeper in Kizimkazi, and the first phase of the school is already completed. The school will be called “Seeds of Light” and we aim to have it completed by January 2020.
In support of Reno’s vision, more than 80 prominent industry leaders, ambassadors and community leaders from the capital attended the opening of the exhibit. Most spoke about how they really felt emotional for the children and really wanted to help build the school. Renos shared: we have Ambassadors here from many countries including; Greece, Egypt, Poland, Kuwait, Australia, Fiji, France, New Zealand, South Africa, America and I am so grateful for their support. Once again, we see our diverse community coming together for a worthy cause. Maria Kelly originally from Ireland and chairperson of the mental health awareness group Darkness Into Light was also in attendance and shared: Abu Dhabi has such a strong community of fantastic people who are willing and ready to join forces to help support vulnerable people not just at home but overseas as well. Also in attendance was Elena Bravo from Spain. She shared: as a teacher myself, I am really blown away by this project and really want to help in any way I can.
Not only was it a mix of people as guests, but the event organizing team also represent a united nations of diversity and professional backgrounds. Raja Nazieyah from Malaysia, Tea Vutmej from Croatia, Nevine Jacxsens from Belgium, Elisabeth Hogan from America, Laura Brennan from Ireland and the Dubai millionaire who gave all his wealth away, Mazzi Dumato were part of the event organizing team. Raja explains: we are all here in service to the community…to support CR Hope Foundation, triggering expression of what is needed for Zanzibar, clear, concise and heartfelt action… motivation empowers us all to take time away from our day jobs and share our skills for a cause we really believe in.
The exhibit was curated by up and coming talent Naia Rodziewicz, a rising star on the Dubai photography scene. Naia, a native of Poland was commissioned to travel to Zanzibar to photograph the children. She shared: the children took my breath away…they are in abject poverty but still they have smiling faces, are so happy, kind and warm…to capture their essence and innocence on camera was a very humbling experience. Photographs within the exhibit also revealed the school construction site and the children that will attend. The spirit of the photos captured hope, love, the power of inspiration and revealed what these children can achieve with education coming from the heart. The event also included a passionate dance performance by international artist Fleur Antoine-Hindermeyer. After the performance she shared: it is such an honour to be part of this event that has ordinary people achieving extraordinary things. I would especially like to thank Renos, Naia, Nafisa and all the team for their work and continued efforts for these beautiful children.
In line with CR Hope Foundation’s principles of open interaction, transparency and spreading light through our communities as global conscious citizens, the exhibit is the first of many that will occurring across Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the coming months. Moving forward, Renos added: this project is a representation of the new Zayed Tolerance Pledge, a pledge that I take very seriously. I know that I have a choice to wish for others what I wish for myself and I have a choice to play my part in creating peace for all. Both of which are part of the Zayed Tolerance Pledge which I completely support. I humbly ask people to continue supporting this project so we can complete the school construction on time and help these children achieve their dreams.
Explaining the importance of these initiatives, Nafisa Taha, a well-known Abu Dhabi based philanthropist, humanitarian and the owner of Café de la Paix shared: I was honoured to be approached to host this event. When I give my word, I give my all and I really feel that CR Hope Foundations school project will give hope for future generations. I will carry on supporting the initiative in whatever way I can.
For further inquiries and interview requests please contact:
CR Hope Foundation Founder: Renos Fountoulakis: +971505591889
Café de la Paix, Corniche Owner: Nafisa Taha: +971504422914