x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Charity bazaar showcases goods made by students with special needs

More than 1,500 people are being treated for different disabilities at the 19 centres of the Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs (ZHO) in Abu Dhabi – all are Emiratis and most are under the age of 30.

The students of Zayed Higher Organisation enjoy dancing at the charity bazaar of Humanitarian Care and Special Needs. It featured crafts they made in their workshop classes. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National
The students of Zayed Higher Organisation enjoy dancing at the charity bazaar of Humanitarian Care and Special Needs. It featured crafts they made in their workshop classes. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National

ABU DHABI // A charity bazaar has showcased crafts and products made by young people with special needs.

More than 1,500 people are being treated for different disabilities at the 19 centres of the Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs (ZHO) in Abu Dhabi.

All are Emirati and most are under the age of 30.

The organisation held the three-day event last week to spread awareness about the issue.

Hanan, 22, has been at the centre for more than 12 years.

“With the help of our instructors, we prepared candles and then decorated them with thick papers. I am happy to be here in the bazaar,” she said.

“It felt good to see the colourful performances here.”

Early intervention, physiotherapy, occupational and speech therapy are just some of the services provided at the ZHO.

It also treats those who suffer from visual, hearing, communication and mental disabilities.

About 400 students from one of the 19 centres – the Abu Dhabi Centre for Care and Rehabilitation (ADCCR), attended the bazaar.

Haya Hammad, the director of the ADCCR, said one of its key roles was early intervention.

The centre is the biggest and has about 800 disabled children between the ages of a month and five years, said Ms Hammad.

The early intervention section has 160 children. Those with special needs up to the age of five can live there permanently, with mothers able to live there and other family members allowed to visit.

“Early intervention of children helps treat them,” Ms Hammad said.

The ZHO has teamed up with Abu Dhabi Education Council, and over the past four years, hundreds of students have been reintegrated into mainstream educational institutions.

Hayam Al Hamalawi, a teacher at the ADCCR, said some have been at the centre for more than 10 years.

“We train and provide them with assistance to be able for society.”

Some local clubs have also got involved. Bani Yas Sports Club, for example, signed a contract with the organisation to buy 3,000 scarves made by the students.

The ZHO also provides training in vocational rehabilitation to qualify them for the labour market.

Students participate in workshops to produce everything from antiques to jewellery and electrical goods.

Abdurrahman Al Hosni, 16, suffers from Down Syndrome, and was selling torches at the bazaar.

“I made them at the workshop and now am selling them here – Dh30 for small flashlights and Dh60 for big ones.

“I learnt this all at the centre.”

All proceeds of goods sold at the event, held at Mafraq Hotel, will be donated to the ADCCR.

anwar@thenational.ae