International Volunteer Day, which is on 5 December 2018, is particularly significant, as it coincides with the Year of Zayed, marking the centennial birth of the late Sheikh Zayed. Our founding father had a passion for giving and established the foundations of humanitarian and charitable work locally and regionally, leaving behind a legacy that fuels the UAE's path in benevolence.
Our wise leadership is keen on promoting volunteering and humanitarian work in society by launching creative voluntary and social initiatives and programmes. These promote volunteerism as a key element of social cohesion, solidarity and tolerance, which are essential to promote good citizenship, and consolidate kindness and happiness across our society. They also contribute to the objectives of the UAE Centennial 2071 and UAE Vision 2021, which aims to make the UAE one of the best countries in the world by creating a cohesive society, that is proud of its national identity.
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) strives to be one of the largest contributors to sustainable, integrated volunteering networks in Dubai and the UAE. Our ongoing efforts and humanitarian programmes continue to promote volunteerism and community cohesion among our stakeholders and have become integral to our strategic plans and corporate social responsibility, which in turn, are aligned with the key objectives of the Year of Zayed 2018. This year, we launched a comprehensive programme comprising six programmes and 29 initiatives that include various events and activities to reflect the noble values and teachings of the late Sheikh Zayed. As part of our CSR efforts, we launched 280 social initiatives between 2013 and 2018, with over 96,206 hours of volunteer work achieved by DEWA employees from 2013 up to Q1 2018, raising community happiness to 92% in 2017.
DEWA also launched a volunteering programme for our employees through a dedicated section on our internal portal, so that our employees can select the programmes and initiatives that best meet their interests, capabilities, and schedules. We are cooperating with a number of government and private entities to roll out these initiatives, with the aim of promoting volunteerism among the youth so that all citizens and residents can proudly express their patriotic joy and spirit.