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Abu Dhabi launches 60 community initiatives in response to the coronavirus outbreak

In cooperation with its partners in the social sector in Abu Dhabi, the Department of Community Development, DCD, has launched a package of initiatives that are aligned with the efforts of the Abu Dhabi government to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. The total number of initiatives that have been launched since the beginning of the crisis has reached 60, in areas related to Community Engagement Initiatives, Awareness Campaigns, Contributions and Family Support Initiatives, Support for Vulnerable Families, and Business Continuity Services.

Among the most prominent initiatives that were introduced is the "Together We Are Good" programme announced by the Authority of Social Contribution, Ma'an, which was established by the Department of Community Development as the first official social fund. Ma'an was chosen as the official government channel for receiving contributions from the community to address urgent social challenges. The programme aims to direct incoming contributions to support different segments of society that are affected by the current circumstances, in areas that include educational support, health support, and food supplies, in addition to basic living needs.

Following the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to devote special attention to senior citizens, the Department of Community Development has launched an awareness campaign with the slogan "Our wealth lies with our elders" to educate community members on the importance of caring for the elderly, who have devotedly served their country alongside our Founding Father.

Furthermore, the department has strengthened communication channels with different communities and places of worship, to check on them and their subjects through meetings that are held remotely and periodically, to spread awareness messages in different languages.

The Abu Dhabi Social Support Authority also launched an initiative titled "Stay home and food baskets will be delivered to your doorstep" to ensure that full support is provided to eligible families. Meanwhile, the Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination has announced support for the "Fund of the UAE: Homeland of Humanity", in addition to providing six centres for the use of Abu Dhabi Health Services Co., SEHA, and providing 13 beds for Al Mudeef Center for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs, as well as supplying SEHA with highly-qualified medical staff.

In the list of community interaction initiatives is the "Fit@Home" programme launched by the Department of Community Development as part of the series of initiatives introduced within the Abu Dhabi Inspires campaign. The Abu Dhabi Sports Council also launched a challenge that aims to combat diseases and boost immunity through the implementation of the social sector "active community" strategy, in addition to the launch of the Stay Home Abu Dhabi Chess Tournament. Meanwhile, as part of the Stay Home initiative, the Family Development Foundation organised "Captured family moments", and "Share your ideas with your children" initiatives.

The Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority participated in the "Digital Month" and the competition for generating ideas for indoor activities with children. The Abu Dhabi Social Support Authority launched the "Your Health is Important to Us", while the Zayed House for Islamic Culture, ZHIC, launched the "ZHIC Virtual Board".

As for the initiatives targeting the beneficiary groups, the Family Development Foundation has introduced three initiatives which are, "Do not carry any concern", "Together to support you" and "Your food to your Home". The Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination has also launched the "Hmmm Initiative" for specialised family counselling services; while, the Zayed House for Islamic Culture introduced several remote lectures in addition to the "Do not carry any concern" initiative that delivers food baskets to homes.

Partners from the social sector introduced 18 awareness campaigns. Among them is the initiative launched by the Department of Community Development to prepare a guide as a resource for families supporting children of determination during the COVID-19 crisis. Additionally, the Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination has launched a set of social and psychological care initiatives such as an awareness campaign titled "Your Health is Important to Us", an awareness campaign that provides prevention and quarantine guidelines, as well as a campaign for people of determination titled "We are committed".

Other initiatives include braille publications to raise awareness on prevention and quarantine guidelines and a campaign in cooperation with the Department of Economic Development offering important guidelines for people of determination in sign language.

The Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority, on the other hand has launched a campaign devoted to offering advice on how to communicate and interact with young children. The Authority has also issued guidelines on the means of communication with children at home, along with providing tips to facilitate the distance learning process for parents and children.

In addition to these campaigns, the Family Development Foundation announced the launch of the "100 Days Challenge" sports programme, and the "Captured family moments" campaign. The foundation also organised numerous virtual workshops explaining the role of families in crisis management, as well as ongoing radio campaigns broadcast weekly on Al Emarat FM. The Abu Dhabi Sports Council launched several fitness campaigns including "Stay Home, Stay Healthy", and "Fit@home", to raise awareness on the importance of being physically fit and staying active during these circumstances.

In terms of awareness campaigns, the Zayed House for Islamic Culture, as part of the "We are committed" campaign launched four official Facebook pages to address non-Arabic speaking communities to keep them updated regarding the latest decisions, regulations and measures taken across the nation to limit the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Social sector entities have also provided high-quality services to ensure business continuity including 18 digital services that aim to address the current situation in line with the government's directions to activate remote work systems. For instance, the Family Development Foundation provided several remote services including, the integrated family social welfare service, the effective parenting skills service, premarital preparation workshops, family budget management and financial planning workshops, the Better Family Life Discussion Council, Al Dar Children and Youth Club, and the Promotion of Men's Positive Role in Parenting workshop, in addition to several excellence in entrepreneurship workshops.

The Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination has provided distance learning services, remote fitness training services and telemedicine services to ensure that the daily lives of people of determination have not been disrupted entirely. Additionally, the ZHIC, also provided distance learning services for its students promoting the values of tolerance, compassion, and coexistence with different cultures, along with social counselling services, and introduction to Islam sessions.

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