Celebrating Children's Day, the UAE way

Celebrating Childrens Day, the UAE way

Dubai - Several sectors highlight the importance of children in the UAE

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By Staff Reporter

Published: Wed 14 Mar 2018, 9:15 PM

Last updated: Wed 14 Mar 2018, 11:18 PM

Emirati parents are thankful that a day dedicated to children's rights is observed.
The Emirati Children's Day, which falls on March 15, focuses on their happiness, health, security and prosperity. A few parents spoke to Khaleej Times.
A parent of three children, Adnan Sharaf, said that he is grateful many opportunities have been given to his kids by the UAE government. "The UAE government has secured child rights and offers many opportunities for children, including education which is mandatory and free of fees for all Emirati children. There is also a project for a nursery in each government building, to strengthen family relations," Sharaf said.
"In addition, there is also healthcare and several other sectors that highlight the importance of children in the UAE. To celebrate Children's Day in a unique way, we suggest having a brainstorming session with decisionmakers from different fields, for the ideas to develop and implement some of their suggestions."
Maryna Van der Merwa, the parent of an Emirati child of determination, believes her son Salem Al Mehairi sets an example. Aged 19, he suffers from cerebral palsy, affecting his body movement, muscle coordination and control, stability and muscle tone. However, Salem has excelled in karate. "I am happy to say Salem is an Emirati role model because he has shown courage and determination and never gives up," Merwa said.
"He is a champion Emirati people of determination. We have to support our children to ensure a brighter future for all of them and help them achieve their dreams and goals."
On Children's Day, Merwa said they would visit their local family. "For us, it's the best place to be to celebrate, and to appreciate their support and love. We also appreciate the care shown to us by the government and everything they do to improve the lives of Emirati children."
Mona Al Raeesi, a parent of three children, said the UAE sets a great example in fighting for children's rights and wellbeing. The government looks after Emirati children all the way from birth to adulthood.
"With children all over the world falling victim to poverty, war and rape, the UAE stands out as a model in its dedication to preserving children's wellbeing," Al Raeesi said. "The child has all the basic rights to education and healthcare, from birth to adulthood."
On the occasion of Emirati Children's Day, these parents ask if the local families are taking advantage of all opportunities available for their children. "Are we truly striving to raise creative, unique individuals capable of becoming the leaders of tomorrow? Do we utilise the opportunities to develop their talents in music, art, theatre, literature, sports and technology? Or do we focus on the luxuries and glamorous lifestyle we provide for them like the latest mobile phone devices, tablets or video games?" asks Al Raeesi.

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