x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Abu Dhabi volunteers add a splash of colour to special needs school

Volunteers from a non-profit group, Abu Dhabi Cause Connect, have transformed the rooms of a special needs school with splashes of colour.

Volunteer Alex Sanchez, with her three children, having fun painting a classroom at the Future Centre for Special Needs in Abu Dhabi.
Volunteer Alex Sanchez, with her three children, having fun painting a classroom at the Future Centre for Special Needs in Abu Dhabi.

ABU DHABI // The classroom walls of the Future Centre for Special Needs are now awash with colour thanks to a group of enthusiastic volunteers.

Twelve members of the non-profit group Abu Dhabi Cause Connect (ADCC) spent four-and-a-half hours painting four classrooms.
“Since it’s a new school, all the walls were painted white,” said Tariq Jallad, co-founder of ADCC. “So we thought of injecting some colour to better represent the school’s friendly and caring personality.”

Roni Pedralvez, the centre’s head of training and coordinator for organisational development, said sprucing up the classroom walls with yellow, pink and blue “would stimulate the learning experience”.

Located at Mohammed bin Zayed City, the centre has 183 students between the ages of three and 22, with disabilities ranging from hearing impairment to Down syndrome.

“The volunteers were fantastic,” said director Dr Mowfaq Mustafa. “We saw how excited they were to paint.”
Painting the Future is a joint project with Jotun Paints, which  supplied the paint and supervised the volunteers.

The sense of accomplishment was felt “four different times for four different classrooms”, said Suparna Mathur, also a co-founder of ADCC.

“The best thing for all the volunteers was seeing the transformation of the rooms and how a simple thing like colour could make such a difference” Ms Mathur said.

One volunteer, Alex Sanchez, 33, brought her daughter Nadia, 5, and twin sons Ismail and Malek, 11, to join in the fun.
“I felt good about my kids working with the others,” she said. “They were excited and happy to help. It’s something we would recommend and do again.”

ADCC has plans to paint the centre’s large indoor multipurpose room and outdoor children’s play area with a mural as well as expanding the project to include other special needs schools and even labour camps in Abu Dhabi.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/AbuDhabiCauseConnect.

rruiz@thenational.ae