Look: Kids of determination create 'Heritage Village' to mark UAE's Year of the 50th

The highlight is a 3D model project titled 'We sail into the future'


Ashwani Kumar

Published: Wed 24 Nov 2021, 3:46 PM

Children of determination at the Future Rehabilitation Centre in Abu Dhabi are marking the UAE’s Year of the 50th by creating a ‘Heritage Village’ highlighting traditional culture and achievements.

Children, both locals and expats, with Down syndrome, autism, speech and language disorders and mental and physical disabilities participated in a host of activities at the centre. These included basket-weaving, arts and crafts, live cooking and henna designing.

Students and staff wore traditional attire and helped each other at the booths. The highlight of the village is a 3D model project titled 'We sail into the future', which is an Emirati dhow displaying past traditions, present landmarks and future colony on Mars. A constant in all these concepts is the Future Rehabilitation Centre.

“Children with determination are special and deserve a place in society. They just need an opportunity to display their talent. And once they have that opportunity you will see that they are as good as others,” said Samira Lounis, head of education at the Future Rehabilitation Centre.

The village is created by the students and trainers, with contributions from parents and even grandparents.

“This is a village for the students and by the students. In our beautiful community, every department has been involved. The goal of this village is for us to celebrate the UAE Golden Jubilee. And for our students to explore the beauty of the UAE culture and heritage through sensory experience, i.e., see, hear, touch, taste and smell.

"And that’s why we have created six booths: basket-weaving, henna designing, UAE art and craft, bubble making, traditional food and our 3D model project: 'We sail into the future'. All the objects are sustainable, recyclable objects. Old items are turned into baskets," Lounis said.

The centre opened in 2000 with 60 students. It is dedicated to empowering children of determination across all nationalities.


Mowfaq M.A. Mustafa, the centre's director, noted that the UAE has been working on inclusion and integrating students into the society.

“Our centre welcomes students from all nationalities. We have students from more than 20 nationalities. Nearly half of the students are locals. They are with different disabilities. The centre has made great achievements with regards to integrating students into mainstream schools and the society. More than 130 students have been integrated into the mainstream schools and we have 17 students working in the private and public companies," he said.

The centre, formerly known as the Future Centre for Special Needs, has been honoured with the Sheikh Khalifa Award for Education.

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