Dubai, United Arab Emirates – 11 December 2018: Marking the world-wide observance of the World International Day of the People of determination, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) participated in an initiative organised by the Al Ain city Municipality – at the Al Ain City Entertainment Club – to raise awareness on animal welfare among children with special needs.
Proclaimed and promoted by the United Nations, the IYDP calls for a plan of action at a regional, national and international level – centred around the theme “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”’ – defining the right of persons with special needs to fully take part in contributing towards the development of their societies.
Inviting over 250 children from several municipality organisations, the event welcomed more than 200 parents and volunteers to help educate children about protecting animals and their welfare. During the event, IFAW organised interactive colouring sessions; a creative workshop where children created animal shapes with clay; and exhibited confiscated wildlife products to raise awareness about protecting animals and their habitat from poachers.
Dr. Mohamed Elsayed, the MENA Regional Director at, IFAW, said: “Public and private entities continue to play a significant role in encouraging the community raising awareness around animal welfare; and our participation with Al Ain city municipality is aligned with The National Policy for Empowering People with Special Needs – launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
“At IFAW, we strongly believe that the young generation hold the key to a better future for animals; and that raising children's awareness from an early stage would help in building the right attitude towards animals and cultivate their interests in animal welfare.”
Previously, the IFAW worked with several groups from different sectors - including the goodwill ambassadors, in partnership with governmental, semi-governmental and private agencies, who united their efforts to launch an initiative to reach the children with special needs through the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalid Al Nahyan Association in Al Ain city. The purpose was to help educate the children about domestic and farm animals, as well as animal welfare. The core team behind this initiative involved the goodwill ambassadors’ team, Al Ain city Municipality, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Future Generations Library, UAE Down Syndrome Society, Al Ain Care Center and Barari Forest Management.