In the United Arab Emirates, an innovative array of family-centric services and pioneering initiatives, led by the Family Development Foundation (FDF), has recently been introduced.
This forward-thinking initiative, guided by the esteemed Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union (GWU), who is affectionately known as the ‘Mother of the Nation,’ is poised to reshape the framework of social equilibrium and the general welfare of both families and communities.
Empowering families: The bedrock of a prosperous nation
Mariam Mohamed Al Rumaithi, the General Manager of the Family Development Foundation, highlights the scrupulous planning behind FDF’s services, aimed at bolstering the fundamental building block of society.
In harmony with Sheikha Fatima’s steadfast dedication to strengthening family stability and improving services for all family constituents, FDF presents a comprehensive range of provisions.
These encompass adept parenting techniques and the Child and Youth Development Service, committed to fostering and molding the younger generation.
Of particular significance is FDF’s Integrated Family Social Welfare Service, which offers a comprehensive array of 24 subsidiary services focused on promoting family cohesion and offering elderly care.
Upskilling and awareness programmes are a constant feature of the Foundation’s work
Caring For The Elderly
Intergenerational ties are an essential part of the organization’s ethos
The elderly hold a unique and cherished place in FDF’s future endeavors. Initiatives such as the Barakat Al Dar Club serve as a bridge, connecting senior citizens with society, fostering the exchange of experiences, and contributing to initiatives tailored to address their specific requirements.
Furthermore, FDF’s digital competency program empowers seniors to stay engaged in the digital era. Sports and leisure activities are also pivotal in promoting family unity. Initiatives like the ‘100 Days Challenges,’ Better Family Life Forum, and effective parenting services all advocate for physical and mental well-being.
FDF’s projects include the Digital Social Monitor, the ‘Forever Fit’ program designed for senior citizens, and facilitating their access to services. These achievements are the result of collaborations with entities such as the Judicial Department, Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, Abu Dhabi Social Support Authority, and the Ministry of Community Development.
In addition, FDF offers Digital and Knowledge Training Services for senior citizens, in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority. Various programs and initiatives are implemented in collaboration with partner organizations from other entities.
In the realm of family welfare, FDF assumes a pivotal role, orchestrating an array of social initiatives and provisions meticulously crafted to fortify familial equilibrium and tender unwavering nurture and succor to each member within the family unit.
These provisions endow parents and caretakers with adept parenthood acumen, furnishing them with the capacity to fathom and adroitly address the distinctive requisites corresponding to the various stages of their progeny’s development. FDF ardently aspires to enhance the overall caliber of familial existence, imparting proficiencies in effective communication, intricate predicament resolution, adept crisis management, and comprehensive Child and Youth Development Services.
FDF stands resolutely devoted to the zealous engagement, contentment, and welfare of the elderly demographic. The ‘Barakatna card’ from FDF confers an unobstructed conduit to governmental amenities and privileges within the private sector, specially curated for venerable citizens exceeding 60 years of age.
Addressing divorce rates
FDF addresses the multifaceted challenges contributing to marital breakdown in the UAE by tailoring specialized programs designed for two distinct age groups: young adults, aged 19 to 24, and individuals between 25 and 35 years old.
These meticulously crafted programs have a paramount objective – to foster an acute understanding of the bedrock principles underpinning successful marriages. They endeavor to disentangle misconceptions and provide comprehensive premarital preparation courses.
The foundation fosters synergistic alliances with a diverse array of governmental and non-governmental entities to advance enduring societal objectives. These strategic collaborations encompass educational institutions, the healthcare sphere, the economic domain, voluntary organizations, media outlets, and joint initiatives dedicated to addressing concerns related to environmental sustainability.
In the words of Al Rumaithi, “These programs are meticulously crafted based on the empirical insights gleaned from the foundation’s exhaustive statistical data, which covers a gamut of social issues. This data equips social workers with the tools to adeptly confront real-life challenges.”
The foundation also undertakes the development of in-depth social studies, leveraging its rich reservoir of statistical data. This information serves as a valuable resource for decision-makers, policymakers, and program architects. FDF remains committed to the dynamic process of continuously updating this statistical data in conjunction with its partner organizations. This includes tracking divorce rates within specific age brackets, ensuring a holistic understanding of societal shifts.
In alignment with this commitment, a recent collaborative study with the University of Sharjah titled “The Voices of the Divorced: Reasons for Early Divorce among Emiratis in Abu Dhabi” was conducted. This groundbreaking study has found its place in The Journal of International Women’s Studies, a prestigious global scholarly publication.
Reflecting on these endeavors, Al Rumaithi asserted, “Grounded in these scholarly pursuits, the foundation has launched an array of services and initiatives, with a primary focus on spouses and those preparing for marriage. The overarching aim is to curtail the incidence of divorces among Emiratis. These programs, rooted in raising awareness about the foundational tenets of prosperous marriages, serve to strengthen familial bonds within our society and dispel misconceptions surrounding matrimonial culture.”
Pre-marital preparation course
Emirati values serve as the foundation of all projects at the entity
Within the purview of the Foundation’s services lies the Premarital Preparation Training Course, a noble endeavor aimed at enlightening the youth on the intricacies of matrimony. This comprehensive curriculum delves into the profound understanding of marital unions, elucidating the responsibilities, rights, and adeptness required to nurture a wholesome and harmonious marital alliance.
This educational program encompasses a plethora of crucial subjects, addressing the ubiquitous challenges that often beset couples. It also imparts invaluable wisdom in the realms of effective communication and adept conflict resolution.
Moreover, the Foundation extends its benevolence through initiatives such as the “Promoting Men’s Positive Role Parenting Training Course.” This initiative is geared towards equipping individuals with the art of interpersonal discourse and the acumen to navigate the labyrinth of marital dilemmas. The Foundation takes an innovative approach by crafting educational materials and orchestrating awareness campaigns, catering not only to spouses but also to those destined for matrimony.
The educational resources at their disposal encompass a mosaic of information leaflets, pedagogic lessons, and erudite articles disseminated across the digital spectrum, including the vast realms of social media and the internet. These endeavors are meticulously designed to raise consciousness regarding the profound significance of fostering robust and thriving matrimonial unions.
In a resounding testament to their commitment, Al Rumaithi underscores the Foundation’s unwavering dedication to cultivating an accommodating milieu for all members of the family unit. The foundation operates in synergy, harmoniously collaborating to actualize the grand vision of the United Arab Emirates, which espouses the creation of an idyllic, cohesive, and resilient society.
“In our role as custodians within the social sector’s pantheon, ensconced within the echelons of the Family Development Foundation (FDF), we remain steadfast in our resolve to foster camaraderie and amalgamation amongst a diverse consortium of governmental and non-governmental entities. Our overarching objective is to coalesce seamlessly with partners hailing from a multifarious spectrum of sectors, forging an indomitable coalition aimed at the realization of enduring social goals.”
“These strategic alliances encompass educational institutions with a dedicated focus on nurturing the intellectual growth of students and the enlightenment of parents. They extend to the healthcare domain, the economic landscape, the voluntary sector, media conglomerates, and joint endeavors that grapple with concerns of environmental sustainability.”