Dubai: The Dubai Foundation for Women and Children (DFWAC) has begun rolling out the second phase of an anti-bullying campaign, which will target 17 public and private schools and hundreds of students through awareness workshops.

The launch of the campaign, which will continue to be held for the next three years, follows the results of a scientific study conducted by DFWAC on child abuse in UAE society in 2014, which showed the rate of violence in schools requires intervention.

Afra Al Basti, director-general of DFWAC, said the study was conducted on a sample of school students in the 11-17 age group in all emirates, and calls for concerted efforts to work on the implementation of specialised programmes to eliminate this behaviour to ensure a safe environment for students.

The second phase of the programme, under the slogan ‘Who dares... when we are there’, includes the implementation of 24 workshops in 10 schools in Dubai, benefiting more than 500 students, as well as six training workshops for teachers and administrators, and two workshops for parents of students in those schools, since the beginning of this year.

It is being implemented under the sponsorship of the Alwaleed Philanthropies, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority in Dubai, and came after the completion of the first phase, which included the preparation of 30 qualified instructors and specialists to combat bullying.

Al Basti explained that the campaign works to provide integrated solutions to address the problem of bullying by educating students and teachers as well as parents, through organising awareness and educational workshops, and adopting specific policies and procedures to face this behaviour.

She said that bullying is one of the most important issues that concerns DFWAC, especially as it can be caused by child abuse or watching violence at home or school and will cause these types of violence again in the future.

“DFWAC is working to stop the cycle of violence from the beginning through the intensification of the awareness workshops and training programmes for this category to ensure building a secure and stable society for everyone.”

Badria Al Farsi, Programmes and Research Director at DFWAC, said the programme will work on implementing practical procedures to prevent bullying in schools by applying suitable methods of supervision and observation in all related locations, as well as developing personal, social and emotional skills that contribute to the elimination of this behaviour.