Sougha Establishment, a Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development initiative
Senaat, one of the UAE's largest industrial holding companies, is working to support local artisans and the preservation of Emirati cultural heritage through its partnership with Sougha Establishment, a Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development
With the aim of empowering local Emirati women and helping cement their role in their respective communities, Senaat will be funding two12-week artisanal training programmes, valued at Dh140,000.
Sougha, meaning a traveller's gift, or souvenir in local Emirati dialect, is a social enterprise aimed at preserving Emirati heritage whilst creating entrepreneurial role models. The initiative looks at developing arts and crafts skills and turning them into marketable opportunities and empowerment tools. More than 500 talented nationals have now benefited from the initiative. The trainings, in khouss (palm-frond), leather and sadou (textile) weavers are designed to educate and empower these Emiratis and allow them to be economically independent. They are also a channel for transferring an important heritage by preserving a vanishing art form.
Commenting on the sponsorship, Mubarak S. Al Ameri, Vice President, Corporate Communications, said: "This partnership lies at the heart of Senaat's mission to facilitate the sustained growth of local communities. We believe that Sougha's training programmes have empowered so many local men and women since inception and have helped build thriving and creative communities. A celebration of culture and imagination in addition to enabling inventive enterprise, these programmes seek to preserve valuable and ancient skills. This is not our first involvement with the Sougha initiative - we have supported a number of women from the programme last year during the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival. As a testament to our continued commitment to corporate social responsibility, Senaat is delighted to now partner with the Khalifa Fund to once again support the Sougha initiative and act as a force for good in our community." Mouza Obaid Al Nasseri, Director of Entrepreneurship Development and Managing Director of Sougha Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, praised Senaat's initiative and financial support which she said will be instrumental in the successful implementation of these training programmes. Whereas the first training programme will focus on developing arts and crafts skills of khouss and leather and be based in Madinat Zayed city in the Western Region, she noted that the second programme will be dedicated to training Emirati artisans in sadou and leather craftsmanship in Al Ain.
Wholly owned by the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, the Sougha initiative is aimed at creating employment opportunities for local Emiratis with entrepreneurial potential. Sougha seeks to preserve the Emirati heritage through headhunting skilled local crafts and developing their technical and entrepreneurial skills in order to enable them to seize market opportunities both on the local and global fronts.