Dubai: Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), Member of the Dubai Council and Member of the Board of Trustees of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, visited Majlis Al Amal, the UAE’s first cancer drop-in centre, established by Al Jalila Foundation.
Majlis Al Amal is the first community centre of its kind that provides a ‘home away from home’ for female cancer patients and survivors.
Sheikha Latifa was received at the offices of Al Jalila Foundation by Dr. Raja Easa Al Gurg, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Foundation, and Dr Abdulkareem Sultan Al Olama, CEO of the Foundation. She was briefed about the organisation’s health care programmes transforming patients’ lives. She was also briefed on the progress of the project to build ‘Hamdan Bin Rashid Cancer Charity Hospital’, the UAE’s first cancer charity hospital, being developed by Al Jalila Foundation with the mission of redefining cancer care in the region.
Free of charge services
Sheikha Latifa toured Majlis Al Amal where cancer patients can drop-in anytime for information, take part in art workshops, and attend educational sessions conducted by medical experts. The centre features several other activities designed to enhance the well-being of its members. The services of the centre are offered free of charge by volunteers passionate about making a difference to the lives of women affected by cancer. Less than a year since opening its doors, Majlis Al Amal has developed into a 400-strong community of women with cancer. The centre’s members come from all backgrounds united in their mission — to beat cancer.
During her visit, which supports international breast cancer awareness month being marked in October, Sheikha Latifa commended the Foundation’s various teams that work behind its programmes. She met with women who know first-hand the realities of cancer and its impact on their lives and that of their families, friends and their community.
Sheikha Latifa said: “Al Jalila Foundation’s philanthropic medical initiatives have brought significant benefits to the community. Majlis Al Amal is one of the Foundation’s exceptional programmes that supports the physical and mental well-being of female cancer patients and survivors. It was very inspiring to meet and hear the incredible stories of some of the strong women who have found a sense of community and belonging in Majlis Al Amal. I look forward to the continued positive impact of the Foundation’s medical, education, support, and research programmes on people’s lives.”
Dr. Raja Easa Al Gurg said: “Majlis Al Amal supports cancer patients and survivors as they navigate the disease and its challenges. A cancer diagnosis has significant impact psychologically and emotionally and knowing that ‘you are not alone’ and that there is a community to lean on has a huge impact on the well-being of patients and their loved ones. Al Jalila Foundation aims to provide a support network in a safe, nurturing environment to women coping with the disease. The centre aims to keep the message of hope alive and improve the well-being of women during a very difficult time in their life.”
Dr. Abdulkareem Sultan Al Olama, CEO of Al Jalila Foundation, said: “Studies show that emotional support is integral in the healing journey and Majlis Al Amal provides a platform where women can speak openly about their fears, share experiences and lean on each other for comfort and support that they may otherwise not find outside of the ‘cancer community’. When we established Majlis Al Amal we knew it would be a very special place for women but we never imagined how much our members would come to depend on their new ‘circle of hope’. We are inspired by their stories and it is a privilege for my team and I to be a small part of their journey.”
Quality medical care
Since inception in 2013, Al Jalila Foundation has extended Dh10 million worth of support to 168 women with cancer unable to afford quality medical care, through it’s A’awen programme. One in six patients supported by Al Jalila Foundation have cancer. With the rising incidence of cancer and the consequent need for charity support for patients, Al Jalila Foundation is establishing ‘Hamdan Bin Rashid Cancer Charity Hospital’, the first comprehensive cancer charity hospital in the UAE, which brings together leading experts to manage prevention, diagnosis and treatment under one roof. The hospital is set to open in 2026 with a vision to redefine cancer care in the region.
As a member of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), which aims to improve the Arab world through humanitarian, developmental and community work, Al Jalila Foundation has, since inception, provided life-saving aid, locally and internationally, contributing to MBRGI’s mission to improve human life.