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Century Financial unveiled its “Unstoppable: Determined to Rise” initiative which helped empower over 175 students from 7 special needs schools across the UAE on 26th April, 2023 at Spectrum 2023 - the annual cultural festival of BITS Pilani dedicated to the children of determination. The initiative encouraged students to take a pledge to empower themselves by learning life skills and be ever determined to rise by powering their own personal and professional goals. Various tools and resources were provided at the session such as individual vision boards, coloring manifestation cards, framing personal goals, and setting a timetable for their daily self-care routine; all of it integrating into enhancing life skills to lead an empowered life.

Students were provided with various resources and tools that helped them build self-confidence, develop skills to learn, grow, explore their potential, and most importantly empower themselves in leading independent lives.

The key highlights of the initiative included a power talk on Self-advocacy – to help them understand rights and needs; developing independent living skills - that included learning how to manage their time and organize schedules, developing budgeting and financial management skills; which will help them feel more self-confident and take better control of their lives, participating in extra-curricular activities; which provide opportunities for socialization, skill-building, and personal growth, Seeking out Mentorship who can provide guidance, support, and encouragement and Building a Supportive Network as they navigate challenges and pursue goals.

Commenting on the occasion Sameera Fernandes, Director-Corporate affairs & Sustainability, Century Financial, stated “Under the banner of Century Financial’s Sustainability & U campaign which focuses on partnerships and collaborations, aligned with the United Nations SDG 17, the ‘Unstoppable: Determined to Rise’ initiative aims to reach out to individuals and organizations across the UAE to join hands in this initiative and make a difference in the lives of children of determination.” Mr. Bal Krishen Rathore, Chairman & CEO, Century Financial added “This collaboration reflects Century Financial’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity and its dedication to making a positive social impact across communities. The UAE’s vision for people of determination is to create an inclusive society that recognizes their potential, celebrates their abilities, and provides them with the necessary support to thrive. We believe, Unstoppable – Determined to Rise is a step further in taking this vision forward. “

Dr. Geetha, Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani – Dubai Campus added “The partnership between Century Financial and BITS Pilani is a testament to both organizations’ commitment to creating a more inclusive society that recognizes and celebrates the abilities of all individuals, regardless of their disabilities. The cultural festival is focused on creating inclusive spaces for individuals with disabilities, fostering their creativity, and promoting their cultural contributions. We are delighted to take Spectrum 2023 to a level upwards.”

Participants from various schools across the UAE including Al Noor Special Needs, Manzil Centre for Special Needs, SNF Development Centre, Awladouna Centre, Rashid Centre for People of Determination, Dubai Autism Centre, Tender Hearts Arena and Senses Residential & Daycare for Special Needs were benefitted by the unique initiative.

Highlighting this initiative Noha Yousuf, Senses Residential and Day Care for Special Needs commented “To have a corporate-led initiative of this stature for our children is truly an empowering experience. Special needs in general did not have equitable access within society until very recently and we’re glad that Century Financial is changing the narrative. This is going to impact our children’s lives in a big way not just by boosting self-confidence but the idea of tapping their potential to lead individual lives is elating.”

Issac Kwabena Aboagye, Senior School Department, Rashid Center for Special Needs commented, “It’s an opportunity to bring individuals within the community together to form an inclusive setting and learn from one another and inspire everyone to know that they can break through any barrier. I believe that creating an inclusive society for our children is not only a moral imperative, but a necessary step towards a more compassionate and understanding community.

Parents of the participating children shared similar sentiments. Suchi and Sumesh Satyan, parents of 17-year-old Shantanu Nair Sumesh from the Rashid Center for Determined Ones expressed their gratitude saying “It is important to integrate children into the mainstream and we are ever grateful for such opportunities which open doors to make our son self-empowered and hone life skills. It was a day of bridging gaps not just for my child to know of his capabilities but also for the society as more doors open to frame an inclusive environment. The capacity-building tools provided today are going to make a deeper impact as our children are going to feel more sorted and in control of their lives. With that in hand, I’m sure they’ll go lengths in chasing their dreams.”

By empowering these children, the campaign is making a significant impact in improving the lives of special needs children and their families and serves as a reminder that everyone has the potential to overcome their challenges and achieve their goals.