DUBAI, 25th October, 2023 (WAM) — Al Jalila Foundation is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its Ta’alouf Programme this month.
The milestone marks a decade of commitment to equipping parents, education professionals, and caregivers with the skills and knowledge to better understand the learning needs of children of determination, as well as recognising the impact the programme has had in the UAE.
Launched in 2013, the Parents Training programme is the cornerstone of Ta’alouf. Over ten years and 22 cohorts, over 1,100 parents and caregivers have graduated from the programme, representing 36 nationalities residing in all seven Emirates. These parents – 16 percent of whom are fathers – care for children facing diverse challenges, including Down Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Cerebral Palsy, and other learning difficulties.
In 2014, the Foundation, in partnership with Zayed University, launched the programme to support educators and parents in promoting inclusive education. Supported by the UAE’s Ministry of Education and Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority, it is delivered in both English and Arabic, and educators from both public and private schools benefit from it. The programme runs concurrently with the Parents Training programme, enhancing the continuum of care from home to school.
Over the years, the programme has continued to evolve, making a substantial difference in the lives of teachers, parents, and, most importantly, children of determination. To date, over 600 teachers representing 34 nationalities from 68 public schools and 53 private schools have successfully graduated from the programme.
“It has been a rewarding experience to support educators and caregivers in their interactions with children of determination over the past decade through the Ta’alouf programme,” said Dr Amer Al Zarooni, Chief Executive Officer at Al Jalila Foundation.
“The UAE is one of the most inclusive, welcoming places, and it is a top priority for our leaders to provide a friendly atmosphere for all. We are delighted to have contributed to helping parents and teachers enhance their influence and understanding both inside and outside the classroom, ultimately making a meaningful difference in the lives of people of determination throughout the country.”
Saleema Mahmoodi, Principal of Our Own English High School in Fujairah, was part of the sixth cohort of the programme. She said, “The Teachers Training programme has broadened my understanding of inclusive education. Equipped with vital skills, I create an inclusive classroom where every student’s unique needs are met. Thanks to this initiative, I am fostering a future where every student’s talents are recognised and celebrated.”
Fida Sulaiman, a mother who was part of the second cohort of the Parents Training programme in 2013 said, “I have gained transformative skills that have not only enriched my child’s life but also deepened our bond. This programme is not about managing disorders; it is about embracing the unique strengths of my child, celebrating her achievements, and nurturing her dreams. With the knowledge I gained, I felt empowered to champion my child’s abilities and advocate for a world where every individual, regardless of their challenges, is recognised for their extraordinary gifts.”
Ta’alouf, meaning “harmony” in Arabic, embodies the spirit of working together with strategic partners, parents, educators, and the wider community to empower children of determination. The success of the programme has encouraged Al Jalila Foundation to explore further avenues to improve and develop the potential of people of determination. It was launched in 2022 to identify and nurture the talents and strengths of people of determination, encouraging them to pursue meaningful life opportunities in education and society.