Press Release

Al Jalila Foundation celebrates 129 new graduates of Ta’alouf teachers and parents training

Al Jalila Foundation, a global philanthropic organisation dedicated to transforming lives through medical education and research, today celebrated the graduation of 63 teachers and 66 parents from its flagship programme Ta’alouf (‘harmony’ in Arabic), which provides carers of children with special needs with life-changing skills to help them lead more productive and happier lives.

The ceremony was inaugurated by Her Excellency Dr Raja Easa Saleh Al Gurg, Member of the Board of Trustees and Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Al Jalila Foundation. Dr Abdulkareem Sultan Al Olama, CEO of Al Jalila Foundation; Professor Reyadh Al Mehaideb, Vice President of Zayed University; Professor Abdullah Alshamsi, Vice Chancellor of The British University in Dubai (BUiD); and Professor Eman Gaad, Dean of Faculty of Education and the Head of the Doctoral Programme at BUiD, also joined the proceedings that took place at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Academic Medical Centre in Dubai Healthcare City.

Her Excellency Dr Raja Al Gurg commented on the programme:

“Every child has something to contribute to the world, if we give them the chance. At the heart of Ta’alouf is social inclusion and we will continue to champion it in our classrooms, our playgrounds and our communities. ”

The milestone graduation ceremony marked the first cohort of teachers and principals, hailing from 22 private and government schools in Dubai, to have successfully completed the six-month training course. The teacher training programme was established in partnership with Zayed University and supported by the Ministry of Education and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority.

The ceremony also celebrated the fifth and sixth cohort of parents to complete the Ta’alouf parents training programme, bringing the total number of graduated parents to 266 since inception in October 2013. The six-week course has been taught in both English and Arabic to participants from 19 different nationalities across the UAE. So far Al Jalila Foundation has invested more than AED 3 million in its Ta’alouf programme, which has benefited a huge cross-section of the special needs community, including 266 families living with Autism, Down Syndrome and other developmental delays. It was the first time that the course was delivered outside of Dubai – in Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah – to accommodate a larger number of parents in the UAE.

Dr Abdulkareem added:

“At Al Jalila Foundation, we are committed to delivering the most effective educational programme for carers of children with special needs. The number of participants who we have been able to reach out to hasincreased five-fold since the programme started in 2013. We are proud to have had the opportunity to empower these parents and teachers by providing them with life-changing skills to ensure a continuum of care between the child’s home and school.”

Professor Reyadhsaid:

“Through our work with Al Jalila Foundation in the Ta’alouf programme, Zayed University looks forward to making lasting and significant contributions in all areas that serve individual learning experiences, and broaden and enrich educational practices catering to student’s needs.”

Professor Emanadded:

“We are very pleased to see even more parents graduate from the training as we have applied a modified programme to address different disabilities, and reached out to parents in other emirates. The great feedback we received from the trainees has inspired us to do more in this field, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Al Jalila Foundation.”

Vice Principal of Anisa Al Ansaria School, Fathela Al Sayyed Hussein, and Ashraf Mohammed Shahin, father of four-year-old Ruqaya who has Autism, gave heartfelt testimonials of their experience. Both parent and teacherpraised Al Jalila Foundation for giving them the opportunity to attend the Ta’alouf training course and explained how it had enriched their understanding of special needs and international best practices.