(MENAFN-Mid-East.Info) Abu Dhabi: Finding innovative solutions to better care for older people and new ways to help older people to be more integrated and active members of Abu Dhabi society was at focus of the discussions of the Emirate’s leading social inclusion experts in the latest “Join the Conversation” event hosted by the Social Contribution Authority – Ma’an.

As the theme of the fifth cohort of the Ma’an Social Incubator program, the virtual discussion focused on older people in Abu Dhabi, the unique challenges in their lives, and how social entrepreneurship can help address to this urgent social priority.

HE Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the Department of Community Development and His Excellency Salama Al Ameemi, Director General of Ma’an, were joined by Amal Azzam, Expert at the Family Development Foundation, Dr. Mona Majed Mohamed Al-Mansoori , member of the board of directors of the Al Mubarakah Foundation, Samia Saeed Al-Ameri, head of the department of internal communication in the department of culture and tourism and Alanoud Al-Sawa’I, head of the department of family and women in the community development department, headline an event.

The panelists represent organizations that play a central role in shaping the social sector in the Emirate by providing a range of very impactful assistance and special programs for various members of the community.

Speaking at the event, Her Excellency said, “This is an important conversation to have as it addresses social issues that are in line with the National Policy for Seniors and Residents, which is based on seven strategic pillars. These pillars focus on different areas, including healthcare, improving community interactions, promoting a healthy and active lifestyle, investing in energies, civil participation, infrastructure, transport, financial stability, security, well-being and quality of life. These are crucial in making Abu Dhabi a big and prosperous city in which to work and live.

“Over the past four cohorts, the Ma’an Social Incubator has proven to be effective in finding innovative solutions to key social challenges. We look forward to the next cohort in which the shortlisted teams will provide the community with essential services that will help strengthen the social cohesion and social inclusion of the elderly and residents. This will create opportunities for them to share their expertise which will help grow the economy while introducing seniors to technology to ensure that they are in constant communication and can stay on top of the latest news via media platforms. social.

“We hope this ‘Join the Conversation’ will encourage individuals to apply for the Social Incubator Program and help shape Abu Dhabi‘s future by developing solutions that will improve the lives of older people and help them become members. active in our community for years to come, ”added His Excellency.

This new cohort of the Ma’an Social Incubator program will see social entrepreneurs undergo a 90-day training program designed to find ways to improve existing solutions and develop new programs that will benefit older people in Abu Dhabi. Ma’an will support the 10 shortlisted teams to create sustainable business ventures specific to these solutions by giving them access to mentorship, office space, business expertise, funding and investors.

Amal Azzam, said: “At the Family Development Foundation, we believe in the importance of uniting the efforts of society by bringing together individuals, government entities, civil society and private sector organizations to face the challenges. psychological problems encountered by the elderly and residents. .

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of empowering this category at all levels, where technology is essential to stay in touch with others. The Foundation has played a major role in creating a huge database that includes all members of society over the age of 60, activating communication mechanisms that allow individuals to improve their mental health while adhering to to actions that make them healthy. We will continue to move forward to develop these systems to build a better future for this important group. “

Dr. Mona Majed Mohamed Al-Mansoori: “We are delighted to continue our pioneering adventure with Ma’an through the ‘Journey of Generations’ program, which has proven to be essential in building bridges and increasing interaction between generations. .

“The pandemic presented several challenges, but seniors and residents alike have benefited from the use of technology to communicate with volunteers made up of university students who have helped alleviate the effects of social isolation.”

Samia Saeed Al-Ameri, said: “At the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, we are committed to supporting all members of Abu Dhabi society while giving special importance to the elderly and residents. They are important members of our community, which is why we organize field trips to cultural and archaeological destinations in order to interact with society while keeping them informed of new environments. The pandemic meant we had to take virtual tours that included key destinations in the UAE. As a result of this, we aim to implement new plans that will again focus on the elderly. “

Alanoud Al-Sawa’I, said: “One of the most recent quality of life surveys showed that there was a need to formulate a new strategy in order to provide more support to the elderly and residents in the to come up. As part of this, we have expanded our polls to include focus groups where we listened to the views of older people. In doing so, we were able to identify a number of challenges they face. These included loneliness, health and well-being, and difficulties earning an income after retirement and we have taken steps to develop strategic plans with our social sector partners to find solutions that will support them. and empower them. “

The ‘Join the Conversation’ event was hosted by Ma’an as part of a series of regular initiatives to bring together stakeholders from the public, private and third sectors to advance the community building agenda. collaborative.

Ma’an Social Incubator is one of Ma’an’s five key pillars and is part of its continued efforts to develop Abu Dhabi’s third sector by supporting non-profit organizations and social enterprises and contributing to the development of strong, active businesses and connected communities. The social incubator supports Abu Dhabi’s vision to boost innovation in the social sector by encouraging creative and sustainable solutions to address existing social challenges.

About Ma’an :

Ma’an was established in February 2019 under the Department of Community Development in Abu Dhabi with the aim of bringing together government, private sector and civil society to support a culture of social contribution and participation. The authority will provide solutions to social challenges with five main pillars of work – a social investment fund, a social incubator program, community engagement programs and the introduction of a new type of public procurement, the social impact bonds, as well as awareness management.

Ma’an will help the third sector to thrive in Abu Dhabi, enabling responsible nonprofit associations or foundations and social enterprises to contribute to the development of strong, active and connected communities.

Ma’an Authority for Social Contribution is an initiative of the Ghadan 21 accelerator program, which is helping Abu Dhabi to become one of the best places in the world to do business, invest, live, work and visit.


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