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UAE among Finalists for Purina BetterwithPets 2020 Prize

Rewarding innovative initiatives from Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa that harness mutual positive power of pet–human bond.
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Dubai, UAE

Reading Dogs, an initiative offering children in the United Arab Emirates the opportunity to interact meaningfully with pet dogs by reading to them, is among eight finalists for the 2020 Purina BetterwithPets Prize which rewards social entrepreneurs leveraging the power of the pet-human bond to positively impact society.

reading dogs

This year’s second edition of the Prize, organized in collaboration with Ashoka, a pioneer in the field of social entrepreneurship, drew more than 150 applicants from across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, with the eight finalists stemming from the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.

Entrants were welcomed across two entry streams: Early-stage ideas for innovations and Fully piloted/implemented innovations. The prizes, an investment of up to 100,000 Swiss Francs (AED 377,800) for piloted/implemented innovations and up to 20,000 Swiss Francs (AED 75,500) for idea-stage innovations, support and accelerate the most innovative initiatives and ideas that harness the positive mutual power of the pet-human bond for the benefit of communities. More information is available online.

“Throughout the selection process for the BetterwithPets Prize, we found ourselves inspired by these impact-driven initiatives,” said Sergej Pracevic, Business Executive Officer, Nestlé Purina for the Middle East and North Africa region. “Our eight finalists best demonstrated how harnessing the pet-human bond in an innovative way can help lead to positive changes in communities to benefit us all."

“We're beyond delighted to be one of the finalists,” said Karalynn Thomson of Reading Dogs.The prize and support provided would allow us to expand our services across the UAE, delivering more sessions in mainstream and special educational needs schools, building children's confidence in their reading ability and allowing them to experience first-hand the special bond animals can bring.”

The finalists will showcase their initiatives to a jury of five judges during online pitches that will be broadcast live on 3rd June 2020 at 13h00 to 15.30 CET.

After pitches and Questions & Answers, Bernard Meunier, CEO, Nestlé Purina PetCare Europe, Middle East, and North Africa, will announce the Prize winner(s) and their award(s).

About Nestlé Purina PetCare

Nestlé Purina PetCare promotes responsible pet care, community involvement and the positive bond between people and their pets. A premiere global manufacturer of pet products, Nestlé Purina PetCare is part of Swiss-based Nestlé S.A., a global leader in nutrition, health and wellness. For more information, visit the Purina Middle East and North Africa website:


ASHOKA is the largest global network of leading social entrepreneurs — individuals with new ideas to systemically address the world’s biggest challenges and the entrepreneurial skill to transform those ideas into national, regional and global social impact. Over 40 years, we have supported more than 3,500 social entrepreneurs in 90 countries with solutions addressing society’s most pressing issues. Ashoka’s vision is a world in which Everyone is a Changemaker — a society that responds quickly and effectively to challenges, and where each individual has the freedom, confidence and societal support to address any social problem.

For more information, please contact:

Layal Dalal
Media Relations Manager
Nestlé Middle East and North Africa
Email: [email protected]