Abu Dhabi: The Family Development Foundation (FDF) continues to support guests of Emirates Humanitarian City with psychological assistance, as part of its community and humanitarian endeavours. The support aims to help brothers and sisters hailing from the Gaza Strip in Palestine, who are facing significant hardships.

FDF offers several programs and services that cater to the requirements of families living in the Emirates Humanitarian City. These initiatives, which are being held during the holy month of Ramadan, aim to develop children’s abilities, while also elevating their happiness and promoting mental relaxation. A variety of innovative programs have been implemented to promote psychological stability, perseverance, and resilience. They further enable families to overcome challenges and hardships, rekindling hope after navigating through challenging experiences.

Her Excellency Mariam Mohammed Al Rumaithi, Director General of the Family Development Foundation, said: “FDF supports the UAE’s unwavering efforts to fulfil its humanitarian mission by actively engaging in a number of rehabilitation programs and initiatives hosted by the Emirates Humanitarian City. In addition to promoting human fraternity and solidarity for those facing various difficulties, this mission is based on the principles of generosity and compassion.”

Her Excellency also applauded the message of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, which stated, “The UAE will always stand as a beacon of aid and relief during tough times and a source of inspiration in humanitarian work.”

Under the direction and vision of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, ‘Mother of the Nation,’ Chairwoman of the General Women's Union (GWU), Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF), and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, FDF plays an important role in providing psychological and social support, according to H.E. Al Rumaithi. With a strong emphasis on philanthropic initiatives, Her Highness intends to support the guests of the Humanitarian City, stand by their side, provide them with support programs, as well as address their emergencies promptly and effectively.

H.E. Al Rumaithi further emphasised how FDF has been committed to offering psychological assistance and support to families in need through its ‘Psychological First Aid’ initiative. The primary goal of the initiative is to foster a sense of optimism, promote resilience and enhance their capabilities, making the most of their leisure time. Furthermore, the program emphasises the importance of making use of the knowledge, expertise, and abilities of experts to take on responsibilities and approach life with a positive and forward-thinking attitude.

Likewise, the group counselling sessions, called ‘Inspire Hope,’ were conducted under the theme ‘Revive Hope.’ The goal is to provide them with the knowledge and skills needed to prepare for the future and rekindle hope through self-awareness, emotional wellbeing, problem-solving, and stress and anxiety management assistance.

Wafa Al Ali, Acting Director of the Family Development Department at FDF, affirmed that FDF’s workshops have played a significant role in fostering a positive mindset among participants. These workshops focus on cultivating positive thinking through a series of events, such as the ‘Happiness Tele-match’ activities which are unrestricted games designed to provide entertainment and stimulate the spirit of competition. Additionally, a range of competitions tailored to different groups are also included in the team activities, designed to ensure entertainment, mitigate negative feelings, and promote positive communication among individuals.

Wafa also explained how the ‘Knowledge Encounter’ initiative, designed for therapeutic reading, deeply focusses on bolstering the mental wellbeing of its younger participants. Group discussions on reading and self-improvement provide opportunities for the youth to increase their reading skills, while also ensuring a therapeutic process. Moreover, this also plays a significant role in enhancing their academic competencies and communicative abilities.

Another key workshop – ‘Be Responsible’ – is centred around teaching participants about the concepts of personal and societal responsibility and making them aware of the value of self-control and commitment in achieving one’s goals. It fosters a sense of identity, stimulates positive communication, and improves problem-solving and time management abilities. This empowers them with the ability to build healthy relationships with others by employing effective communication and self-management strategies among others.

Al Ali said: “Our workshops aim to support individuals from different societal segments in their overall wellbeing. One such program that tries to encourage participants to adopt healthy lifestyle habits is our ‘Fitness Forever’ workshop. It aims to provide a deeper understanding of the biological clock and circadian rhythm, and the correlation between sleep quantity and quality with overall health. It also emphasises how important exercise and movement are to enhancing both mental and physical health, while also assisting participants in altering their thought patterns to realise their goals.”

She further went on to highlight the significance of ‘My Creative Fingers’ workshop, which focuses on enabling participants to express their feelings and recognise them in a healthy manner. It encourages them to share their experiences and better communicate with each other, with the right psychological support. The purpose of the workshop is to provide a secure setting where individuals can relieve psychological strain and stress.

She continued: “Another initiative that has significantly helped create a safe environment for children visiting the Emirates Humanitarian City is the creative expression program called ‘Draw with Joy.’ It enhances their psychological wellbeing and gives them a means of expressing their thoughts and feelings. This program is designed to offer a sense of peace and inner balance after all the challenging events that they have experienced.”

Furthermore, the group emotional release sessions titled ‘Inner Balance’ have equipped participants with the necessary knowledge and capabilities to better comprehend and overcome life’s challenges. These sessions further raise awareness on various tools and techniques for coping with emotions that participants can incorporate into their daily lives. The FDF continues to develop and implement strategic initiatives that align with its mission of ensuring family stability and unity for a sustainable community.

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