Sharjah, United Arab Emirates: In a year marked by a lot of outstanding successes and accomplishments locally and globally, the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah (SCFA) and its affiliated Departments have managed to achieve the Emirate’s vision to promote family welfare and realize sustainable and comprehensive social development.
The SCFA’s recent statistics showed that over a million people have benefited from the Council’s awareness-raising programs and campaigns about Covid-19 prevention and control, something that contributed to strengthening the efforts of the UAE’s health system.
With more than 30 strategic partnerships signed with local, regional, and international organizations, the Council has also been keen to apply crisis management policies during the pandemic and has formed Business Continuation Committees that included subcommittees on Development and Performance, Workplace Development, Administrative and Financial Audit, Remote Work, Media, and Social Communication, and 2022 Strategy Committee.
In 2020, the Council has launched its new website and the training platform “Mehna” and has developed its partnerships methodology and precautionary precautions guide, in addition to designing and implementing the safety mechanism.
“We’ve been inspired by the profound vision and insight of His Highness Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the UAE Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah that every cloud has a silver lining,” said Her Excellency Dr. Khawla Al Mulla, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, stressing that the achievements made by the Council in 2020 wouldn’t have been possible without the strenuous follow-up and unlimited support of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, whose visions have always been a catalyst for everyone to step up efforts to promote family welfare, maintain its cohesion, and empower its members to actively shoulder their responsibility in society.
Al Mulla pointed out that the year 2020 has seen a lot of outstanding achievements of the General Secretariat, most importantly, the launch of the Council’s 2020 strategic plan in January 2021 and the new organizational structure of the General Secretariat, noting that the actual implementation of the strategy has started, while underlining the importance of inter-departmental integration in all planning, implementation and performance processes, as well as enhancing the strategic culture and competitive capabilities to achieve a stable, empowered and effective family.
Her Excellency Moudhi Al Shamsi, Head of Department of Family Development Centres (DFDC), said: “The DFDC has been keen to provide the best educational and counseling services to families in accordance with the highest international standards, especially that Covid-19 has posed many challenges for families at the social and economic level.”
“Hence the need to develop our counseling services and to get better utilize our social media platforms to reach the largest segment possible of individuals,” added Al Shamsi, stating that the Department has provided its services to more than 14 thousand people across the emirate, while more than 800 persons received counseling services from the Family Guidance Division. She also referred to the launch of more than 20 major initiatives at the level of organization, processes, and institutional capacities, in addition to the joining of many signatories to the Family Cohesion Document.
For her part, Her Excellency Salha Obaid Ghabish, Head of the Cultural and Media Office at SCFA, revealed that the office has successfully delivered its messages to more than 65,000 beneficiaries over the course of 2020 and launched as many as 25 different initiatives. It also released four issues of quarterly "Marami" magazine.
"A book titled "The Talk of Solitude" was also launched along with an online version. The book documents the vision and experience of 23 Emirati and GCC female writers in addition to 6 Emirati artists especially during the current crisis. Winners of the High School Creativity Award were also announced and we are still receiving entries for the 3rd edition of the Sharjah Gulf Women Creativity Award. The office also staged 16 cultural salons discus many cultural and media topics," she added.
On the ither hand, Iman Rashid Saif, Director of the Health Promotion Department (HPD), affirmed that the Department has developed innovative health strategies, programs, and projects that are consistent with the current circumstances, explaining that over a million people have benefited from the HPD's outreach activities, including 130 virtual lectures and workshops, remote health consultations for about 29,187 people, the publication of 178 brochures and educational materials.
Saif pointed to the remarkable interaction of the public with the Council's accounts on Instagram and Twitter, noting that the number of followers surpassed 1006000 people. This is in addition to presenting the radio show "Towards a healthy life" in cooperation with Sharjah Radio, the Sohbati show (peer training), the launch of the 8th My Health Conference, and the launch of the "Wazen" program to maintain the health of Sharjah government employees, besides introducing the standards of the Healthy Schools Program, which was launched by the Department in cooperation with the World Health Organization.
Her Excellency Hanadi Saleh Al Yafei, Child Safety Department Director, said: “During the pandemic, we have been keen to promote positivity among community members by raising their awareness about the child’s physical and mental health to help them overcome these challenging times.”
“We organized more than 85 remote workshops and programs targeting more than 12,700 children, adolescents, and parents and covering various topics, including the prevention of domestic child accidents, E-safety workshops delivered by specialists and ambassadors of eSecurity, and workshops on the impact of the pandemic on the lives and behaviors of children and adolescents from the psychological and mental point of view,” Al Yafei concluded.
Her Excellency Dr. Hessa Khalfan Al Ghazal, Executive Director of Sharjah Baby-Friendly Office, said: “In the past year, we have achieved a lot of objectives that reflected to what extent Sharjah is caring about new generations of children, adolescents, and youth.”
“The Office has launched and participated in a number of events and initiatives that promoted sound family values, and addressed issues that affect the child's life, well-being and rights, most importantly, the launch of “Sharjah Child Friendly Academy”, an information platform that aims to support the institutional and community sectors and spread awareness and knowledge resources for specialized cadres and society in general about everything related to the care and development of children and youth. This is in addition to launching launched a creative contest for children and adolescents from all over the world to mark World Children's Day.