Hollywood’s star couple Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones have received a donation of AED 7 million (US$ 1.9 million) to carry out water and sanitation projects in developing countries including Sri Lanka and Kenya. The money was donated by Dubai-based property giant Nakheel to the international charity group Free the Children (FTC). The donation was part of the company’s 2008 Ramadan charity programme, which focussed this year on water. In total the programme raised AED 10 million, including a donation to Bait al Khair for its work in the Northern Emirates.
“We’re not just giving them money – we’re giving them hope”, Douglas said. “Water is the lifeblood of communities. If children won’t have to take long walks to collect water, they can go to school.”
Free the Children (FTC) was founded in 1995 by Craig Kielburger, a Canadian child rights activist, who was only 12-years-old then. Since then, the organisation has built over 500 schools worldwide. It claims to be “the largest network of children helping children through education” in the world.