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Ma’an Launches First Panel Discussion With Government And Private Sector Representatives

Organizations across Abu Dhabi commit to working alongside the Authority for Social Contribution - Ma’an to develop new solutions for social challenges

A host of private sector and government organizations across Abu Dhabi have committed to working alongside the Authority for Social Contribution – Ma'an, to develop new solutions for social challenges and support the work of the community sector.

At a workshop, hosted by Ma'an, a range of organizations including Abu Dhabi Municipality, Mubadala, Department of Community Development and the Department of Education and Knowledge – Abu Dhabi discussed opportunities to collaborate to improve the lives of people of determination.

It is the first workshop of its kind to be hosted by the Authority and is one of a series of events planned that will tackle a different social issue each time - with all organizations committing to being part of future workshops.

Welcoming an audience of over 70 people, the discussion was led by the Chairman of the Department of Community Development – Abu Dhabi, H.E Dr. Mugheer Al Khaili and the Director General of the Authority for Social Contribution, H.E. Salama Al Ameemi who took part in a Q&A with the audience following the discussion session.

H.E Dr. Mugheer Al Khaili said: "This forum was an excellent way to raise awareness of the challenges faced by people of determination, bringing together the key players who can help people of determination to progress during all stages of their lives – from school, through university, to work and retirement."

H.E. Salama Al Ameemi said: "Ma'an's mission is to create collaborative communities that contribute towards the common good by bringing together the government, the private sector and civil society to nurture new and innovative solutions for social challenges. This workshop is a tangible example of Ma'an's mission in action and I hope all those involved took away important learnings from what was a transparent and constructive discussion."

An official spokesperson from Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) said: "Among others, the services we provide at ADEK for people of determination includes mainstream inclusion, specialized provision for people with autism, as well as support structures for families with autistic children by means of creating outreach and awareness campaigns.

"In this Year of Tolerance, what we want to see are more policies tailored for people of determination which will lay the groundwork for change in our society."

Following the workshop, social entrepreneur and disability advocate, Marilena Di Costa, praised Ma'an and welcomed the open discussion. She said: "As a social entrepreneur with a business idea that I am looking to develop through the Ma'an Social Incubator, I found this an excellent platform to share views.

"My business idea is an advocacy platform that helps families and people of determination to overcome isolation and bring together information in this sector. I would like to thank Ma'an for this opportunity."

Meaning 'togetherness' in Arabic, Ma'an is the first authority of its kind in the region, established under the directive of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of UAE and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

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