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  • Chidozie Uzoezie

Emirates to Build New Facility for Children With Disabilities


The Emirates Airline Foundation announced today its support to fund the construction of a new building for Safe Centre for Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.

The new state-of-the-art 20,000 square foot facility will boost Safe Centre’s capacity from just over 40 children to accommodate and support 100 additional children in need of special education services.

Safe Centre is slated to move into the new facility when it is completed in the fall of 2018.

This initiative is being spearheaded by the Emirates Airline Foundation under the UAE’s Year of Giving, a national initiative led by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The aim of the UAE’s Year of Giving is to provide a framework for philanthropic initiatives, strategies and programmes intended to celebrate giving and cement philanthropy at the heart of the UAE’s social fabric.

Children are at the core of the Emirates Airline Foundation’s philanthropic work, and through its support of the Safe Centre for Autism, it aims to help open the doors of opportunity for children with special needs in the UAE.

The new facility design accommodates more comprehensive programmes for children on the autism spectrum with a focus on communication, interaction, behaviours and responses, social competencies and sensory processing.

The planned facility will house 12 additional classrooms which include spacious backyards, a playground and quiet rooms, speech therapy rooms, occupational therapy rooms, a sensory room equipped with leisure facilities, art and music rooms, a vocational service room, a swimming pool, and an indoor and outdoor play area. This is in addition to two new dining areas, meeting rooms and a library.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 1 in 160 children have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and there is an acute need to support young people with ASD and identify their challenges as they transition into adulthood.

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