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In a bid to consolidate the efforts of the UAE initiative for the care of orphans and minors launched in 2015 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, a delegation from Al Jalila Cultural Center for Children (AJCCC) recently visited Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation’s (AMAF) Family Village in Dubai’s Al Warqaa area.

The visiting delegation was headed by Bushra Alrahumi, Program Management Director at Al Jalila Cultural Center for Children, and included Aisha Juma, Deputy Director of Program Management, Sheikha Jismi, Marketing Manager, and Huda Harkous, Media Officer at AJCCC. The meeting was also attended by Hala Ibrahim Alablam, Deputy Director of Family Village, Azra Al Hajri, Chairperson of Accommodation Section at the Family Village, and Khalud al Balochi, Executive Secretary of the Family Village.

Widad Salem, Director of the Family Village welcomed the visiting delegation and commended the role played by AGCCC in the development of children's capabilities through supporting their creative, intellectual and artistic talents. She stressed that this visit would contribute to strengthening cooperation between government entities in the emirate of Dubai and lead to the provision of more quality services to Emiratis in the community.

Widad Salem provided the visitors with an overview of the various facilities and departments at the country’s first community-focused orphanage and highlighted its concerted efforts to provide a safe and stable environment for orphaned children. She also outlined the sheltering procedures in place at the orphanage and reiterated AMAF’s commitment towards shaping the entity into a model family village regionally as well as globally. 

As a first step in boosting synergies, the two sides agreed to support five children from Family Village as members of AJCCC to benefit from the programs provided at the center. Marking AJCCC’s foray in supporting orphans and empowering them to lead more holistic lives, the initiative sets the stage for more long terms programs for orphans and minors that will be announced by AJCCC via a media campaign at a later time.

For her part, Bushra Alrahumi expressed happiness at the efforts undertaken by the Family Village with regard to delivering best-in-class education, healthcare and social services for the orphans to aid their rehabilitation and ensure they grow into productive members of society. She reiterated that AJCCC will welcome the orphaned children and encourage them to benefit from the programs, events, and workshops, organized by the center throughout the year in an environment that reflects the rich cultural heritage of the UAE and wider Arab world.

Established in 2015 under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Family Village is currently home to about 100 orphans and provides them with accommodation, education, health and psychological care. The village offers a balanced and homely environment and caters to all the basic needs of the orphans. It includes full-time care-givers or mothers for each group of children to provide the love and care they need. Family Village comprises 16 villas, an administrative building, a kindergarten, a medical clinic, and essential facilities for the holistic care of the children.

Al Jalila Cultural Center for Children was founded in 2014 on the belief that culture is an essential component for children to understand themselves and the world they live in. The overall aim is to enrich the cultural lives of children and prepare them to welcome their future. The centre offers a safe, joyous and creative environment for children and their families that draws on Emirati and Arab cultural heritage, the creativity, vision and expertise of renowned artists and other professionals, and the dynamism of the world that unfolds around them. AJCCC aims to bring awareness to children and increase their understanding of their surroundings, nurture their creativity and future aspirations, and provide a grounded sense of connection with the Emirati cultural heritage.

The UAE initiative for the care of orphans and minors was rolled-out in June 2015 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in line with his efforts to launch charitable community-based initiatives during the Holy month of Ramadan each year. The initiative aims to fulfill the three essential needs of orphans and minors - social needs, the need for appreciation, and the need for self-realization.