Al Jalila Foundation celebrates 192 new graduates of Ta’alouf parents and teachers training
Al Jalila Foundation, a global philanthropic organisation dedicated to transforming lives through medical education and research, celebrated the graduation of 120 parents and 72 teachers 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 attended by Her Excellency Dr Raja Easa Al Gurg, Member of the Board of Trustees and Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Al Jalila Foundation; Dr Abdulkareem Sultan Al Olama, Chief Executive Officer of Al Jalila Foundation; His Excellency Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA); Professor Reyadh Al Mehaideb, Vice President of Zayed University; Professor Abdullah Al Shamsi, Vice Chancellor of The British University in Dubai (BUiD); and Mr Saoud Al Otaibi, Director of Al Ain Initial Service Center, Zayed Higher Organization.
Her Excellency Dr Raja Easa Al Gurg commented on the programme “Today’s event reinstates our commitment to fostering a unified and inclusive society where parents, educators, strategic partners and the wider community work together to empower children with disabilities. At the heart of Ta’alouf is social inclusion and we will continue to champion it in our classrooms, our playgrounds and our communities so that every child, no matter their ability, has the chance to be an active member of society.”
The milestone graduation ceremony marked the second cohort of teachers and principals, hailing from 9 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 four cohorts of parents to complete the Ta’alouf parents training programme, bringing the total number of graduated parents to 420 since inception in October 2013. The six-week course has been taught in both English and Arabic to participants from 29 different nationalities across the UAE. So far Al Jalila Foundation has invested more than AED 5 million in its Ta’alouf programme, which has benefited a huge cross-section of the special needs community, including families living with Autism, Down Syndrome and other developmental delays. It was the first time that the course was delivered in Abu Dhabi – following the expansion to Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah in the past – to accommodate a larger number of parents in the UAE.
Dr Abdulkareem Sultan Al Olama said “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 has exceeded our expectations since the programme started in 2013. Learning is not just confined to the classroom and 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.”
Ms Samar Abouhosn from Dubai International School in Al Garhoud and Ms Mervat Abdullah, whose young son suffers from cerebral palsy, gave heartfelt testimonials of their experience. Both parent and teacher praised 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.
Al Jalila Foundation aims to deliver the programme to 800 parents and their children by 2018.
For more information on Ta’alouf please visit www.aljalilafoundation.ae.