On Sunday, December 16, 2018, Al Amal Camp 29, which Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services (SCHS) organizes every year under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, will begin. Delegations from GCC countries, Turkey, and Kingdom of Bhutan are going to participate in this event, which has the theme of “Let’s Talk about Disability.
Her Highness Sheikha Jameela bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Vice President of Supreme Council for Family Affairs, Director General of SCHS, and Head of Camp’s Supreme Organizing Committee, was the first to attend a workshop organized for volunteers and heads of committees on Friday afternoon, December 14, in order to introduce new volunteers to camp’s goals, mission, and committees work. The workshop explained the principles and values of which volunteerism depend on in order to reflect a bright image of United Arab Emirates citizens.
Her Highness Sheikha Jameela has confirmed that this year’s theme “Let’s Talk about Disability” represents an open invitation to all members of society to discuss and share experiences and knowledge about the issues of persons with disabilities and their rights in every area of life.
She has praised the vital role of volunteers in making this event successful since its inception in 1986. Volunteers are key element in making persons with disabilities happy. They treated disabled participants with respect and helped them to benefit from their time and have fun as well.
The director general of SCHS gave volunteers some general instructions to follow such as dedication, respect camp law and regulations, cooperate with fellow colleagues in other committees, and treat participants with respect.
Her Highness Sheikha Jameela talked about the frequency of this event since 1986, which has deep meanings. Each year SCHS incorporates different theme as an approach to follow in the entire year. The event has a vital role in increasing children with disabilities self-confidence; expand their knowledge, and introduce them to United Arab Emirates monuments and tourist attractions.
Mrs. Mona Abdel Karim briefed volunteers about Al Amal Camp goals and theme for this year. She believes that it is a practical demonstration of SCHS mission and vision of being a leading organization in including, empowering, and advocating persons with disabilities.
According to Mrs. Mona, the number of volunteers increases every year. The number of volunteers since the first camp has reached 2815 from different ages and segments of society. Notably, some of the volunteers have been taking part in the event for more than 25 years. As for the number of participants since the first camp, it has reached 1902.
On behalf of all the volunteers, Ghada Al-Khamis, a Volunteer & Head of the Media Committee, was very happy to participate in Al Amal Camp. She has confirmed that all volunteers carry a noble message based on serving persons with disabilities; make them happy; and integrate them into society.
She has been volunteering in Al Amal Camp for more than 15 years. Each year, volunteers become more excited. She has confirmed that Media Committee will do its best in order to raise people’s awareness of persons with disabilities issues and the theme of this year event, which has deep meanings.
Ghada Al-Khamis has pointed out the importance of recruiting volunteers from every place in order to reach out to people and introduce the principles and goals of the camp to the public. She asked the new volunteers to dedicate their efforts and love what they are doing in order to be sincere and successful.
Volunteers’ workshop included several informative lectures presented by SCHS specialists. They introduced volunteers to respectful disability language. For example, they should say persons with hearing impairment instead of deaf person, or a person with visual impairment or mental disability instead of blind or retarded. They should treat persons with disabilities with respect and avoid disrespectful disability language, which is offensive and harmful to persons with disabilities and their families.
In addition, the workshop included some lessons in the basics of sign language in order to enable volunteers from communicating with persons with hearing impairment positively. In physical and occupational therapy workshop, volunteers received cards describing the best way to handle persons with disabilities. Notably, receiving participating delegations in 29 Al Amal Camp began on Friday, December 14, 2018.