Press Release

Al Jalila Foundation’s Ta’alouf programme aims to extend its reach across the Emirates

Al Jalila Foundation today announced that Ta’alouf (harmony in Arabic), its flagship programme designed to support carers of children with special needs, aims to expand its programme across the Emirates, addressing the needs of the country. Today’s graduation for parents marks a milestone for Ta’alouf reaching a total of almost 200 participants, setting the programmewell on itsway to reaching agoal of training 800 carersover the coming five years.

Today, 70 parents graduated from thelatesttwo cohorts of the parents training. Aceremonywas held for the families at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Academic Medical Centre which wasinaugurated 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 Al Olama, CEO of Al Jalila Foundation and 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.

Her Excellency Dr Raja Al Gurg commented on the programme:

“All of us here at Al Jalila Foundation are committed to setting up the most effective educational and training programme for children with special needs. I am humbled to see just how many parents and children are benefiting from the programme and just how diverse the programme has become. The numbers of parents who we have been able to reach out to has quadrupled since the programme started in 2013. One major difference we have witnessed is more and more fathers are joining the programme andfamilies are also realising the benefits of attending the workshops together, reaffirming the programme’s mantra of inclusiveness. We are particularly proud to have had the opportunity to empower these families by providing them with the life-changing skills to use at home, and look forward to playing an active role in shaping their children’s future.”

This third and fourth cohort of the Ta’alouf parents training programme that graduated today was aimed atsupporting children with Autism and Down Syndrome. According to the UAE Down Syndrome Association, as of December 2014, one out of 319 babies in the UAE has Down Syndrome. Statistics from the UAE Ministry of Social Affairs, as of July 2014, indicate that more than 800 children with autism are enrolled at special centres in the UAE. The training included 52 mothers and 13 fathers joining from across all seven Emirates of the UAE. The next course, starting in Marchwill be delivered outside of Dubai to make it more accessible to the wider community.
Dr Abdulkareem added:

“Looking to the future, we are committed to rolling out Ta’alouf throughout all the Emirates to bring a full rounded support system to all children in the UAE. To echo UAE Vision 2021 oneducation, we too believe in equal opportunities for all students; the harmony of both components of the Ta’alouf programme with parents and teachers will result in the development of a strong, supportive network geared towards helping these children excel in the wider society.”

In partnership with The British University in Dubai (BUiD) Al Jalila Foundation’s Ta’alouf parents training programme spans 6 weeks. It is led by Professor Eman Gaad, Dean of Faculty of Education and the Head of the Doctoral Programme at BUiD. The training provided through this collaboration enables parents to complement the efforts of educators and caregivers for a continuum of care between the child’s home and school.

Professor Eman Gaad said:

“What is unique about this group is that it was divided into training session according to the disability in order to maximise the benefits of the training. This was shown in the post training questionnaire filled by the parents where they have expressed their satisfaction of the programme. For the second year in a row, the partnership between The British University in Dubai and Al Jalila Foundation achieves a unique social benefit which helps in the empowering and inclusion of people with disabilities.”