Celebrating the first anniversary of the Family Village, one of Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation’s key endowment projects in Dubai, the children residing in the village wrote a letter of appreciation to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to express their gratitude and appreciation for the leader’s continuous support and care.
The children wrote: "Thank you for caring about us, for wiping away our tears, for planting a smile in our hearts, and for loving us. We are overwhelmed by your kindness, love and gratitude. May Allah grant the man who made us his responsibility in the highest place in Jannah and be the companion of the Prophet in Paradise”
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum inaugurated the Family Village orphanage in 2015. Officiating the opening ceremony, he tweeted: “In the UAE, orphans are not alone. The Family Village's model emphasizes a familial atmosphere, providing children with the warmth of a mother and siblings.
He added: “When I met the orphans today, I was happy to find Emirati women volunteering to spend time with the children.”
Launched in 2015, AMAF’s Family Village houses nearly 24 orphaned children and has a capacity to host 130 children. Located in Al Warqa 3, the Village provides the children with accommodation, education, health and psychological care in a homely, stable and balanced environment.
Commenting on the success of the Family Village, His Excellency Tayeb Abdulrahman Al-Rais Secretary General of Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation, said: “Due to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Family Village has emerged as a leading example in providing orphaned children with care and support and helping them become active members of the society.”
He added: "With the kind assistance of supporters and endowers, the value of the Family Village endowments are estimated to total nearly AED157 million in assets and buildings. Partnering and collaborating with a number of public and private entities and child care facilities, we will continue to expand our operations and offerings and develop nurturing programs and services for orphaned children.”
Widad Salem Director of Family Village praised His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for his unstinted support of the Family Village project and the children residing within its premises. She noted that the Village, which comprises 16 villas, as well as a management building and a medical clinic among other facilities has evolved into a small and secure community that protects and embraces orphaned children.
For their part, the surrogate mothers and aunts working at the Village expressed their happiness with the success achieved over the past year. Awatef Saleh, a surrogate Aunt said: “I am honored to be a part of this social and humanitarian project. Nothing is more fulfilling than taking care of orphaned children deprived of love and care from their parents. We will continue to provide them with a safe and secure environment that enables them to become successful and high achieving young women and men.”
Mona Eid, a surrogate mother, said: “We encourage a healthy parental system that ensures strong family bonds between parents, children, siblings and extended family. This healthy atmosphere provides the emotional stability needed to help them overcome their challenges, focus on their studies, enhance their skills and build a sense of belonging.”
Jassim Jaber, a surrogate father said: “I am glad to be part of this social and humanitarian project, where I take care of young teenagers. They need the father figure in their lives as the father role is essential for building their characters”.
The children at the Family Village expressed their joy for being a part of a community that cares for them and provides them with a sense of belonging. In a collective message, the children Nada said: “This place feels like home. It has provided us the warmth of a family and we are proud to be children of this country.”
Tarfah said: “The Village gives me hope for the future. I am confident that all of us will go on to do great things in our lives.”
Rashed said: “I want to express my appreciation to all the people who support and manage the Village. It is an amazing place that enables us to grow up healthy and secure much like our peers outside these premises.
The Family Village provides an enriching experience for children in need, making it a world class example of the UAE waqf.