We work with a hand-picked selection of strategic partners to help and empower others with the knowledge and skills to make a difference to their own lives and to raise awareness of the pressing issues in the region.
KORA BORA is a not-for-profit organisation that exists to inspire, encourage, and achieve positive social change by improving the quality of life for underprivileged children throughout the MENA region. We provide education, health and environment related programmes through the universal language of football.
Our core values ensure that we will always work towards uniting people from all walks of life, to empower others with knowledge and skills and remain committed to enacting positive change across the MENA region.
KORA BORA creates and hosts high-profile fundraising events supporting causes that contribute towards positive social change.
KORA BORA's Environment Programme
Despite bold strides in recent years, the Gulf nations face a significant challenge if they are to preserve the environments in which their peoples survive and thrive. They must find a way to avoid squandering the natural capital upon which their economies currently rely, of reducing the economic costs of environmental degradation, of arresting the decline in availability of clean water and the increase in airborne pollution, and of mitigating the impact of climate change on temperatures in the region.
Attitudes are shifting, a change reflected in the increasing embrace of environmentally friendly building regulations and practices. As clients demand greater energy efficiency in their buildings, so contractors know they must meet best practice standards. In a recent global survey of architects, engineers, contractors, owners, specialists and consultants, respondents projected that more than 60 per cent of their undertakings would be green projects by 2018, with a doubling from current projects across the Middle East.
There is also a growing realisation that environmental programmes will not work unless accompanied by fundamental changes in the way we consume resources and produce waste. Another recent report found that indiscriminate subsidies of water, energy and food in the Arab region promote wasteful consumption, and do not necessarily ease the burden on the poor, as more than 90 per cent of the subsidies go to the rich. The same survey concluded that the Arab public is willing to pay more for electricity, fuel and water and to change consumption habits if this will help preserve resources and protect the environment.
‘Green is Good’ is a message that already resonates with the international business community: sustainability sells and there is a growing realisation that only those companies that support the communities in which they operate will still be in business in a decade’s time. Gulf governments are taking up the challenge too, and although there remains much to be done, the benefits of an environmentally friendly policy framework will be measured today, tomorrow, and for generations to come.
KORA BORA's Health programmes
The International Diabetes Federation warns that 37 million people are living with the disease in the Middle East and North Africa region. This accounts for around 9.7 per cent of the population; furthermore, close to 50 per cent of cases in the region remain undiagnosed. The IDF expects the number of cases in the Middle East to nearly double over the next two decades.
All of which means that if a healthy nation is a happy nation, then happiness will be well earned in the Gulf in the coming years. Obesity and diabetes rates in the region are soaring and last year four of the six Gulf nations were named among the top 10 countries globally for the highest rise in overweight and obese people under the age of 20. Westernised food laden with salt and sugar, and the sedentary lifestyle of many sections of the population, are blamed.
The response of Gulf governments has so far been encouraging, as they look to mobilise their populations and promote sport and exercise as activities that will likely save hundreds of thousands of lives in the future. They are starting to educate their citizenry as to the innumerable benefits of healthy eating and an active lifestyle, and they are engaging with the private sector to bring global best practice to the region.
Much work remains to be done, however: it takes years, not months, to change a contemporary culture of fast and fatty foods, and a lifestyle of late nights and no exercise. Yet if Gulf governments drive forward with innovative and ambitious programmes dedicated to preventative healthcare, then this will play a huge role in curbing the costly treatment of chronic diseases in the future. As ever with health and fitness, the effort will be well worth the reward.
KORA BORA's education programmes
Education is the single most powerful driver of economic, social and cultural growth. It is a key priority of governments worldwide, a focus for investment and innovation and the subject of incremental reform as well as sweeping change.
In the Gulf in particular, where more than half of the population is under 25 years of age, leaders have recognised that education holds the key to stability and prosperity for this and for future generations.
As a consequence, the shape of teaching and learning in the region is changing. Education reform is a complex and delicate task: education authorities must develop organisational capacity, harness technology to support learning, engage with the private sector through public-private partnerships, and improve services while reducing costs.
Moreover, education authorities must be prepared to explore new pathways of learning that go beyond the classroom and the chalk-board: life skills addressing cognitive, emotional, interpersonal and social abilities, for example, will imbue the young with a broader palette of essential skills with which to navigate an increasingly globalised and interconnected world.
The extent to which Gulf governments are able to achieve effective and lasting education reform will do much to determine the futures of their peoples, and the region. And if the vision of today’s leaders becomes reality, then those to come will be equipped with the tools for even greater success.