Family Social Welfare Service offers a range of 24 sub-services Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: A groundbreaking array of family-centred services and initiatives under the Family Development Foundation (FDF) has been unveiled in the UAE.

This visionary move, under the estemed guidance of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union (GWU), who is revered as the 'Mother of the Nation', is set to redefine the landscape of social stability and overall well-being for families and communities.

Empowering families: The bedrock of a prosperous nation

Mariam Mohamed Al Rumaithi, General Manager of the Family Development Foundation, underscores the meticulous design of FDF’s services to fortify the basic unit of society.

Aligned with Sheikha Fatima’s unwavering commitment to reinforcing family stability and enhancing services for all family members, FDF introduces a comprehensive suite of offerings.

These encompass active parenting skills and the Child and Youth Development Service, dedicated to nurturing and shaping the younger generation.

Particularly noteworthy is FDF’s Integrated Family Social Welfare Service, which extends a range of 24 sub-services aimed at supporting family unity and providing care for the elderly.

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Upskilling and awareness programmes are a constant feature of the Foundation's work Image Credit: Supplied

Caring for the elderly

The elderly hold a special position in FDF’s future plans. Initiatives like the Barakat Al Dar Club connect senior citizens with society, enabling them to share experiences and contribute to initiatives addressing their specific needs.

Additionally, FDF’s digital qualification service empowers seniors to stay connected in a digital society.

Intergenerational ties are an essential part of the organisation's ethos Image Credit: Supplied

Sports and leisure are also pivotal to family cohesion, with initiatives like the ‘100 Days Challenges,’ Better Family Life Forum, and effective parenting service promoting physical and mental wellness.

FDF’s initiatives encompass projects such as the Digital Social Monitor, the ‘Forever Fit’ programme for senior citizens, and facilitating senior citizens’ access to services, all achieved through collaborations with entities like the Judicial Department, Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, Abu Dhabi Social Support Authority, and the Ministry of Community Development.

FDF also offers Digital and Knowledge Training Services for senior citizens in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority, along with various programs and initiatives implemented in collaboration with partners from other entities.

A rendering of the new home of the Foundation Image Credit: Supplied

Nurturing families

FDF plays a significant role in nurturing families through a range of social programmes and services designed to reinforce family stability and provide care and support to all family members.

These services empower parents and caregivers with active parenting skills, equipping them to better understand and respond to their children’s age-specific needs. FDF strives to elevate the overall quality of family life and provides effective communication, problem-solving, crisis management, and Child and Youth Development Services.

FDF is committed to the active participation, happiness, and well-being of seniors. FDF’s ‘Barakatna card’ offers seamless access to government services and private sector benefits for senior citizens over 60 years.

Addressing divorce rates

FDF addresses the issues that lead to divorce in the UAE through tailored programmes for young adults aged 19 to 24 and individuals aged 25 to 35.

These programmes aim to raise awareness of the fundamental principles of a successful marriage, rectify misconceptions, and provide premarital preparation training courses.

The foundation collaborates with various governmental and non-governmental entities to achieve sustainable social objectives. These strategic partnerships span educational institutions, the healthcare sector, the economic sector, the voluntary sector, media outlets, and collaborative efforts addressing environmental sustainability concerns.

Mariam Mohamed Al Rumaithi

Al Rumaithi said: “The programmes are created on the basis of statistical data provided by the Foundation on various social topics and issues that will offer social workers to effectively address real-life problems.”

The Foundation develops social studies, leveraging statical data which provides supporting information for decision makers, policymakers, and program developers and FDF constantly updates statistical data, like number of divorce rate among a particular age group, in collaboration with relevant partner entities.

In line with, this a recent study was conducted in collaboration with the University of Sharjah, which is entitled “The Voices of the Divorced: Reasons for Early Divorce among Emiratis in Abu Dhabi”. The study was published in The Journal of International Women’s Studies, one of the world’s leading scientific journals.”

“On the basis of these studies, the Foundation has launched several services and programs that focuses on spouses and spouses-to-be, with aim to bring down divorce rates among Emiratis,” she said.

“The programmes raises awareness about the fundamentals of a successful marriage, reinforcing family ties in society and rectifying misconceptions about matrimonial culture.”

Pre-marital preparation course

One of the services provided by the Foundation is Premarital Preparation Training Course which seeks to educate young people about the concept of marriage, their responsibilities, rights and skills to build a healthy marital relationship.

These courses cover topics including addressing common challenges, communication and conflict management.

Emirati values serve as the foundation of all projects at the entity Image Credit: Supplied

Furthermore, they provide training in communication skills and solving marital problems, through the “Promoting Men’s Positive Role Parenting Training Course” and the development of educational materials and awareness programmes targeting spouses and spouses-to-be.

The educational resources include information leaflets, lessons and articles published on social media and the Internet to raise awareness on the significance of building healthy marriage.

Al Rumaithi underscored the Foundation’s dedication to creating a supportive environment for all family members, ensuring that each initiative works in synergy to realise the UAE’s vision for a harmonious, integrated, and resilient society

“In our capacity within the social sector institutions, at FDF, we are committed to fostering collaboration and integration among various governmental and non-governmental entities. Our goal is to work in tandem with partners from diverse sectors to achieve sustainable social objectives.

“These strategic partnerships encompass educational institutions focused on students and parents, the healthcare sector, the economic sector, the voluntary sector, media outlets and collaborative efforts addressing environmental sustainability concerns.”