Image Credit: WAM

Ankara: The Ministry of Community Development of the UAE and the Zayed Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, along with the Ministry of Family and Social Services of Turkey, signed two memoranda of understanding to redevelop the Sheikh Zayed Children's Complex in Istanbul. The UAE has committed Dh40.4 million ($11 million) to the scheme and in addition will work with Turkey to exchange expertise and best practice in the field of social work.

The announcement reaffirms the already strong ties between the UAE and Turkey, and the continued commitment to enhancing cooperation in support of protecting and uplifting the vulnerable and marginalized in society.

Reflecting on the announcement, Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chair of the International Humanitarian and Philanthropic Council, said: "Our partnership with Turkey reinforces the UAE’s legacy of compassion which began with our Founding Father and continues today. Through this partnership we demonstrate our dedication to supporting some of the most vulnerable people in society, children. In recognition of the importance of protecting children, we are honoured to support the redevelopment of the Sheikh Zayed Children's Complex to ensure that there are safe spaces in which they can flourish and reach their potential in life."

The signing ceremony was conducted in the presence of First Lady of Turkey, Emine Erdoğan, Shamma bint Suhail Al Mazrui, Minister of Community Development for the UAE, Mahinur Özdemir Göktaş, Minister of Family and Social Services, Hessa Bint Essa Buhumaid, Director General of the Community Development Authority in Dubai, Dr Mohammed Ateeq Al Falahi, Director General of the Zayed Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, and Aisha Gul Yildirim Kara, Director General of Child Services at the Ministry of Family and Social Services of Turkey.

The Zayed Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation committed to supporting the redevelopment of the Sheikh Zayed Children's Complex in Istanbul, with a contribution of $11 million or Dh40.4 million. This will include the expansion, redevelopment, and ongoing maintenance to secure the future of the facility. The Sheikh Zayed Children’s Complex provides essential support services and care for orphans and at-risk children, providing a safe and nurturing environment catering to a range of diverse needs.

Dr. Mohammed Ateeq Al Falahi expressed his pleasure with this cooperation and as part of the Foundation's objective of supporting community development and building a better future for all, noting that 'giving' is a great value instilled by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and has become a unique and intrinsic approach characterized by the UAE and its many humanitarian initiatives, under the guidance and support of the International Humanitarian and Philanthropic Council.

Shamma Al Mazrui emphasised that the memorandum of understanding signed by the UAE Ministry of Community Development and the Turkish Ministry of Family and Social Services aims to strengthen cooperation relations between the two countries and exchange expertise and best practices in the field of social development. This will ensure that the UAE provides services that align with the latest global standards and indicators to develop and innovate policies, programs, and initiatives, that will drive social development and meet the evolving needs of the community.

This latest partnership will enhance cooperation in various fields to protect and ensure the well-being of vulnerable individuals and communities. This will include knowledge exchange between the two ministries in areas including family development and care, child protection, addressing domestic violence, reviewing legal, administrative, and educational legislation, and providing opportunities for UAE child-concerned entities to benefit from social and psychological support programs directed at children through the (ANKA) platform, developed by the relevant authorities in Turkey.

Hessa Bint Essa Buhumaid, Director General of the Community Development Authority, stated that this step reflects the UAE's vision of prioritizing family and child welfare through concerted efforts to improve services and overall quality of life. She noted that this cooperation will enhance the exchange of expertise and knowledge of best practices between the parties. She further highlighted that the legacy of Zayed's generosity will carry on in all fields of humanitarian and charitable work, emphasizing the importance of family as the primary guarantor of social protection and development, aiming to work diligently at the international level to adopt the best solutions and practices for family protection and development and enhance the happiness of its members.

Continuing the Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed’s inspiring vision and generosity, the UAE recognises the need to work together with its partners to ensure resilient communities that will ultimately enhance social development and create lasting positive change globally. This commitment is deeply rooted in the UAE’s history and values, reflecting the nation’s dedication to fostering international cooperation and prosperity.