Shamma bint Sultan’s ‘Circle of Hope’ NGO expands nationally

Sustainability-focused organisation is now registered as a Foundation with the UAE Ministry of Community Development

The Abu Dhabi-based NGO behind acclaimed social initiatives Wanna Read?, Beacon of Hope, and the Women’s Empowerment and Equality Board has today announced its registration as a Foundation with the UAE Ministry of Community Development in a move that enables the entity to further expand its charitable work across the country and beyond.

Founded by Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Circle of Hope aims to impact youth and women by encouraging literacy, promoting a culture of philanthropy and empowerment through education. For more than 6 years, the NGO has taken a leading role in issues related to sustainability in line with Sheikha Shamma’s business and academic expertise in the field as CEO of Global Alliances for Sustainability and a Cambridge University Masters Student in Sustainability Leadership.

Beacon of Hope, which takes solar-light kits to children in impoverished or war-torn areas, has distributed 10,000 beacons-in-a-box across 10 countries on 3 continents since the initiative began in 2016. More than 25 partners and contributors to the programme include the United Nations, the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, the UAE Ministry of Youth, Emirates Foundation and Emirates Red Crescent.

Wanna Read? helps hospitalized children through their healing and rehabilitation process, encouraging an enjoyment of books at all ages. More than 8,500 books and 20 trolleys have been donated to hospitals across the UAE.

Sheikha Shamma’s long-standing efforts to drive forward the UN Sustainable Development Goals have been widely acknowledged regionally and internationally. She was recently invited to speak at the MENA chapter of the World Economic Forum in Jordan where she discussed policy development for sustainability in the Arab World and the Beacon of Hope initiative was recognised at the 2018 United Nations Solutions Summit.

Commenting on the Foundation’s registration, Sheikha Shamma said “The expansion of Circle of Hope marks a monumental milestone for my team and I. Contributing towards the UAE’s philanthropic nature has always been a passion of mine, and to see all of our efforts come to fruition truly inspires us to continue our work in providing children of the world with the opportunity to thrive.

I’d like to share my gratitude towards the UAE Ministry of Community Development for granting us official recognition as a foundation; with their help, we can now increase our efforts and maximise our impact both regionally and internationally.”

Sheikha Shamma concluded by stating: “With the implementation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation’s five-year strategy, the UAE continues to exponentially grow as a global leader in humanitarianism, being amongst the top donors of foreign aid per capita in the world.

At Circle of Hope, we strive to mirror the benevolent efforts of the UAE and emulate their success by continuing to serve people of need across the world.”

HE Hessa Bint Essa Buhumaid, UAE Minister of Community Development, said “Non-profit organisations like Circle of Hope are vital to promoting a culture of social responsibility. A firm advocate of investing in community development, HH Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan is spearheading initiatives that are helping to raise awareness of the need to build a sustainable future.”

“The Ministry is pleased to register Circle of Hope as an independent organisation and offer a platform for its further expansion so that it can provide development opportunities for many more young people and women at home and abroad,” added the Minister.

In a place defined by the values of humanitarianism and philanthropy of Sheikh Zayed, founding father of the nation, a growing community of NGOs is thriving in the UAE capital. The Abu Dhabi Government has encouraged the development of the sector with a series of initiatives to support the set-up and growth of social enterprises. In February 2019, the Department of Community Development established Ma’an with the aim of bringing together the government, the private sector and civil society to support a culture of social contribution and participation.

For more information on Circle of Hope, please visit


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