Ajman: The ‘Tolerance Tree’ Initiative launched by the Social Support Centre of the Ajman Police is helping settle marital disputes between couples, preventing them from opting for divorce. Captain Wafa Khalil Al Hosani, Director of Social Centre at Ajman Police, told Gulf News that the ‘tolerance tree’ is among the several initiatives of the Centre for the Year of Tolerance.

The ‘tree’ placed in the waiting area of the centre offers each disputing couple a chance to put aside negativity and write a positive message that is then hung on the tree. In the case of one couple, the husband, before leaving the premises, wrote a letter to his wife and pinned it on the tree. The wife, who came in later to present her side of the case, was urged to walk by the tree and read her husband’s message.

The note, addressed to her by her husband, said, “Sorry. This is the least I can say I say to my wife and children. May we never be apart .”

Two days after reading the note, the wife returned to the centre and informed the staff that she do not want to go ahead with her divorce. Seeing her husband’s handwriting, she said, had made her realise that she wanted to return to her life with him and their children.

In another incident, the children of a couple who were on the verge of separation, drew pictures of their parents and hung it on the tree. The drawings depicted their parents holding hands. When their parents saw the drawings, they immediately changed their minds and dropped the idea of a divorce for the happiness of their children.

The staff at the Centre received the news of reconciliation between these spouses with great happiness, thanks to the role played by the Tree of Tolerance, which symbolises the Centre’s aim of bridging the gap between warring couples and steering them back on the road to happiness and mutual understanding.

As many as 85 martial disputes have been thus far resolved, without the matter having to end up in court, thanks to the Tolerance Tree initiative. The initiative was launched in May this year.

In another case, Captain. Al Hosani said, a dispute was brought to the Centre by a woman regarding her husband, a GCC national. The couple have two children, a boy aged 8 and a girl, 6. The specialists at the centre worked to address the couple’s issues in full confidentiality. They met with the man and wife separately to determine the respective points of disagreement and find an appropriate solution through dialogue that would satisfy both and which would exclude the option of a divorce.

Cap. Al Hosani urged couples to resolve their disputes amicably for the sake of their children. The department, she said, is committed to spreading a culture of tolerance and forgiveness among members of society.

Over the last nine months, the Centre has been able to amicably settle 121 marital disputes, said Captain Al Hosani, adding that since January, it has succeeded in solving 535 varied cases, including family disagreements, marital discords and child abuse.