• Hanadi Al Yafei: We aim to encourage children to talk and report bullying incidents to trusted people

Sharjah:  Hanadi Al Yafei, Director of the Child Safety Department, an affiliate of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah, stressed the importance of understanding the psychological impact on children and youth that can lead to loss of confidence and social awkwardness, pointing out that eliminating bullying requires intensified community awareness efforts and collective work.

The director called on parents to do their part and monitor their children's behaviour and performance at school.

Al Yafei pointed out that this year's National Bullying Week, themed 'With Kindness We Make a Difference', reflects the department's year-round efforts to encourage children to talk about and address bullying in order to eradicate this behaviour from the community. She pointed out that raising awareness of the issue and talking about bullying with trusted people is the first step towards limiting its impact.

This was done as part of the participation of the Child Safety Department in the sixth National Bullying Prevention Week, organised by the Ministry of Education under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union (GWU), President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF), the Mother of the Nation, in collaboration with partners in governmental and local bodies

The Child Safety Department organised a series of awareness-raising workshops on social bullying prevention targeting private school students in the Emirate of Sharjah and Dubai. It also participated in the Smile initiative in collaboration with the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority as part of the department's contribution to the revival of National Anti-Bullying Week from 14 to 20 November.

The messages also focused on highlighting bullying and the need for counselling and support for victims and bullies. In addition, the role of parents in supporting and protecting their children from bullying was highlighted and the support of victims by social workers was reinforced.

The Child Safety department organised nearly 50 anti-bullying workshops throughout the year 2022,  targeting 1,495 from children and youth. The workshops highlighted the dangers of bullying, how to deal with bullies, and raising awareness over all different types of bullying in any environment children can be exposed to.