The Dubai Foundation for Women and Children, has been recently granted membership of the Child Helpline International Foundation (CHI), a global network of 179 child helplines in 143 countries which together receive over 14 million calls a year from children in need of care and protection, after its Helpline 800 111 met all the required international terms and standards.
Afra Al Basti, Director-General of the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children, expressed her happiness at this achievement, saying that it is a significant step in DFWAC's march towards leadership and excellence in the field of combating violence against women and children within the U.A.E..
She added that DFWAC has been able to meet all the required international terms and standards for its Helpline, although it is relatively new compared to many other call centres, which emphasises the efforts made in the development of all services provided by the foundation on an ongoing basis.
"DFWAC's success in accomplishing such achievements in a short time came with the great recognition paid by the wise leadership of the U.A.E. to issues of children and women, and their substantial support to those who are caring for these people, and the efforts of the staff of the foundation who are working to serve noble humanitarian objectives," she said.
She added, "Although we are pleased with this achievement, we consider it as a step in a long endless march that starts with achieving global competition, inspired by the highly motivated leader that does not recognise the impossible, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum." Al Basti explained that DFWAC's Helpline became the ninth call centre to join the CHI network in the Middle East and North Africa, and the second in the U.A.E., which makes the U.A.E. the only country in the region that has two registered helplines within this network.
She added that the number of calls received by the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children's helpline increased by more than 130 percent during the first half of the year, receiving 2,351 calls compared to 1,022 in the same period last year.
The Director-General said that the helpline handles all requests and inquiries, and offers its advice, for free, 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, and is dealing with all the callers' information in confidence, adding that the calls are classified according to the level of seriousness of each case.
"The cases which are in immediate danger are classified in the first level and accepted immediately in our shelter after the interview. After studying each case, we determine whether the services of the shelter are enough or if a transfer to another suitable place is needed," she added.
Al Basti said that the DFWAC is working in close collaboration with various bodies to provide the best means of support and care for the victims, especially with police departments, in order to provide adequate protection to ensure the safety of the victims and rapid intervention in case the need arises.
She added that all employees who respond to calls through DFWAC's Helpline have been carefully selected and trained to deal professionally with any case and to meet Child Helpline International standards