May 30, 2024

On Thursday, May 30, 2024, the Masarat Center for Development and Empowerment, affiliated with the Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services (SCHS), organized a ceremony to hand over certificates for the Art and Design Program, which was hosted by the Sharjah Education Academy and witnessed the graduation of 24 students from the center’s members within the first level of the program. The ceremony was also followed by the opening of the Bright Night exhibition, which included artistic creations by students. The center and their colleagues from the American School of Creative Science and students from SCHS branch in Khorfakhan.

Her Excellence SCHS Director General, Mona Abdul Karim Al Yafei, commended the Masarat students who earned the "Baytak" qualification in art and design. She emphasized that these certifications, which have been approved by the Pearson Foundation in the United Kingdom, a prestigious organization, are in line with their potential, talents, and abilities—something that SCHS always strives to assist in compliance with global best practices.

She complimented the kids' high caliber work in the "Light Night" exhibition, pointing out that it showcases their accomplishments and brilliance. When given the right circumstances, persons with disabilities are capable of innovation, quality, and achievement—a point that SCHS has always stressed. SCHS was eager to supply these circumstances and will continue to do so.

Al-Yafei clarified that the accomplishments of individuals with disabilities are not the product of a single, fleeting phase, but rather the rational outcome of a journey that starts at the early intervention center in SCHS and continues over time within the departments and branches, culminating in the commendable outcomes they attain with their assiduity, hard work, and the help of SCHS, parents, and partners.

The certificate-handover ceremony's proceedings 

The ceremony began with the national anthem and some verses from the Holy Quran, recited by the student, “Pardis Hamdi.” Then the supervisor of the ceremony, the student, “Youssef Al-Mulla,” delivered a speech, in which, he congratulated his colleagues on this distinguished achievement, which is added to the Masarat Center’s distinguished record of achievements, and said:

“We, the students, reassure everyone that our success in a variety of fields is the outcome of our generous giving and the unwavering support that our President of SCHS, Her Excellency Sheikha Jameela bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, has given us. We also thank our administration and our hardworking teachers for their tireless efforts. Their great efforts towards our education, training, and integration into society, they have our full respect and appreciation”. We also extend our thanks and gratitude to our parents, who gave everything they have, so that we could develop our life skills and knowledge, and continue our education achieving the best results, God willing.”

The Masarat Center for Development and Empowerment's Acting Director, Professor Maryam Muhammad bin Sandal, then gave a speech in which she welcomed everyone to the ceremony the center had organized to celebrate the students' readiness to begin their journey into the practical and professional world. She emphasized that 24 students from the Masarat Center had earned the "Baytak" qualification in art and design after a rigorous training program that, God willing, helped them acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to be properly qualified for the labor market.

141 students with disabilities benefit from the center’s services. 

She added, “The first institution in the region that focuses on people with disabilities to receive this certification is SCHS, as the Masarat Center for Development and Empowerment was granted international accreditation in 2020 to teach Pearson programs in the United Kingdom. Now, the facility serves 141 male and female students who are at least 16 years old”.

She added, “In line with SCHS's rehabilitation process approach, the center denotes the top step of the educational and training pyramid. One of its main objectives is to enable, qualify, and train individuals with disabilities to find employment and educational opportunities. It also aims to enable government and private sector organizations to accomplish shared objectives by offering a range of services to enhance the abilities and qualifications of individuals with disabilities seeking employment. Through training courses, seminars, and advice on hiring disabled workers, the center also offers services to these establishments”.

According to Professor Maryam, since its founding in 1989, the Masarat Center for Development and Empowerment has effectively employed 474 disabled individuals in a variety of state institutions and institutes. 37 job seekers were appointed this year in various government agencies at the Emirate of Sharjah level in collaboration with the Human Resources Department of the Government of Sharjah.

Through this ceremony, the Acting Director of the Masarat Center for Development and Empowerment expressed her hope that community partners will become aware of the skills and abilities of individuals with disabilities and create pathways for them to receive employment in the future that will allow them to live independently and with dignity. She also called on the public and private sectors to integrate individuals with disabilities into their institutions and provide them with special privileges and exemptions, and that the appointment be real rather than formal.

At the end of her speech, she extended her sincere thanks and appreciation to the parents, the teaching and training staff at the center, and to the students, wishing everyone continued success.

A message of gratitude 

After that, the audience watched a video footage about the Art and Design Program. Then the guardian, Amani Sobhi Murad, delivered a speech of gratitude on behalf of parents, in which she congratulated students on this great achievement that made their families happy and proud of them. She addressed her sincere thanks and gratitude to Her Excellency Sheikha Jameela bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, President of SCHS. She also expressed her gratitude to Ms. Maryam Muhammad Bin Sandal, the acting director of the Masarat Center for Development and Empowerment, and Her Excellency Mona Abdul Karim Al Yafei, the director general of SCHS. Additionally, she thanked the administrative and teaching staff members at the Center for their diligent and sincere support of the students, who served as good role models by empowering them with practical skills that enabled them to pursue their lives independently. Ultimately, they accepted this esteemed position in the hopes of helping to build and serve this kind nation.

She also expressed her gratitude to the mothers and fathers who raised their children with admirable examples of perseverance and dedication, and who did not feel ashamed of their children's disabilities. Instead, they supported their children and served as their best advocates, demonstrating their resilience and creative problem-solving skills. Now that their sons and daughters have graduated, they are enjoying the rewards of their hard work, and we salute them for this outstanding accomplishment.

Honoring the supporting parties 

After that, Her Excellency the Director General of SCHS, Ms. Mona Abdul Karim Al-Yafei, and the Acting Director of the Masarat Center for Development and Empowerment, Ms. Maryam Muhammad Bin Sandal, handed over the certificates of the Art and Design Program to the graduating students, and the supporting bodies were also honored, which are “Sharjah Education Academy, Pearson BTech, and the American School for Scientific Creativity.” , Sharjah Museums Authority, Sharjah Police General Command, Carrefour, Higher Colleges of Technology, and DoubleTree by Hilton.”

A fruitful and ongoing partnership 

Dr. Jenine Romano, Executive Director of the Sharjah Education Academy, stressed the depth of the fruitful partnership with the SCHS, and hosting the ceremony to hand over certificates for the Art and Design Program comes within the framework of this cooperation aimed at supporting and assisting the programs, services, and activities organized by SCHS to serve people with disabilities in various fields.

She added, “Under the supervision and support of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council of the Federation, Ruler of the Emirate of Sharjah, and in cooperation between the Sharjah Education Academy, the SCHS, the Sharjah Special Education Authority, and the British University of Exeter, a research center for people with disabilities will be launched in the future to support them.

The first institution in the region concerned with persons with disabilities to obtain Pearson Accreditation

Head of the Masarat Center for Development and Empowerment's Continuing Education Department Mr. Majid Mahmoud Sami noted that SCHS is the first organization in the area serving people with disabilities to receive international accreditation to teach Pearson programs from the United Kingdom, highlighting the program's significance in expanding academic services. In compliance with global best practices, the profession offered people with disabilities skill development opportunities to make them marketable.

Sami explained that the Art and Design Program includes a variety of artistic skills and modern knowledge that empowers students socially and in life, enhances their self-confidence, and qualifies them to efficiently join the labor market and obtain suitable jobs for them.

The Continuing Education Department representative talked about the "The Bright Night" show, which drew inspiration from the same-titled painting by Dutch artist "Van Gogh." In addition to the inventiveness of students recently enrolled in the Art and Design Program—which also includes the vocational training program that prepares students for the labor market—the exhibition featured numerous creations by students of SCHS and their colleagues from The American School of Scientific Creativity.