● Brand and Product Communications Manager
● 4-year Ford Employee
● Versatile Volunteer
I met a very sick girl at a day care for children with special needs. This girl could hardly say a correct word. One day when I was telling her goodbye, she called me by my name to stay. This moment is embedded in my mind now. It makes me think what 10 minutes with a stranger means to a child. All they need is care, love and attention—not too much to ask."
Rania Al-Shurafa is an organizer as well as a participant. She leads many Ford volunteer initiatives in Dubai and then jumps in to work, as well.
In her four short years with Ford Direct Markets, Al-Shurafa has organized tree planting events, employee blood drives, and visits to the elderly at an assisted living center.
And she has become an enthusiastic regional advocate for two global initiatives—Ford Driving Skills for Life and Ford Warriors in Pink®. She works with local authorities to plan and organize events for both programs.
"I haven't seen a single student or teacher who has participated in a Driving Skills for Life and didn't benefit from it. Everyone learns something after they get in the cars and drive with the instructors," Al-Shurafa said. "I really hope we keep expanding on this initiative and keep helping the new drivers to develop new skills. It will definitely empower them to drive better and safer."
Ford Warriors in Pink, she says, "is very close to my heart. My mum is a warrior. Her fight with cancer is a daily reminder to her and to all of us."
She is known among her colleagues as a no-nonsense doer who gets things done. She strikes an effective balance between leading a team and joining the team and is well regarded for always achieving the project goals—and building relationships.
"When the time comes every year for us to start our activities at the schools, they never decline. Their management appreciates our approach and the Ford team when they go over and play with the children," she said. "Plus, the request from Ford employees to join these programs is increasing."
The programs to which Al-Shurafa refers include: Senses Residential and Day Care for children with special needs; Al Noor Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities; visiting a residential center for the elderly, collecting clothes, toys and books for displaced families at refugee camps.
For all her action, Al-Shurafa also likes to stop and think about what it all means. Volunteering has made a lifelong impact on her. Appreciating the life she has and sharing it with those less fortunate makes her feel good. However, she learned some things about herself that came as a surprise.
"Volunteering has shown me that I am stronger than I imagined. I thought putting food in boxes or collecting clothes for the less fortunate is helping. But joining in and participating made me feel more human, more patient—especially when it comes to interacting with people, be it elderly or children.
Managed by the Ford Motor Company Fund, the Ford Volunteer Corps is a global network of Ford employees and retirees who have contributed more than 1.7 million volunteer hours in community service projects since 2005. To celebrate 15 years of serving communities around the world, Ford Fund is recognizing 15 Ford Volunteer Corps All Stars—Ford employees who are dedicated to community service, and go above and beyond in their efforts to help people in need.