The importance of training children to become the leaders of the future will be a prime focus at this year’s Sharjah Arab Children’s Forum (SACF), which takes place from March 28 until April 3 at Al Rigga Children Centre, Sharjah.
The region’s leading youth empowerment platform organised by the Sharjah Children Centres, a subsidiary of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, SACF 2016 has established a special programme of entertainment activities for youngsters participating, with each exercise aimed at fostering a spirit of innovation and increased interpersonal communication that is so important in leadership. The series of activities will be one of the many highlights of the forum, which is this year being held under the slogan ‘Hear us - we are the Future.’
Organisers of the programme say that getting Arab children from different MENA areas and backgrounds together is the key to unification and the breaking down of cultural and social barriers. They are hoping that the activities on offer throughout the five days will encourage cooperation and mutual understanding between the youngsters as they work together and compete against each other.
“The leaders of tomorrow’s Arab nations will almost certainly face the same challenges – if not more serious ones - that our current leaders do, so it is vital to imbue our children with the building block skills needed for international relations and diplomacy at an early age,” said Reem BinKaram, Director of the Sharjah Children Centres.
“Having an appreciation of different Arab cultures is an essential component in this process – it is only when you come to understand your neighbour that you can make progress together. That is the spirit behind our entertainment programme, which takes children from more than 10 nations participating in SACF 2016 and has them interacting together throughout a series of fun and art-themed activities,” she added.
Included on the programme of activities is an Art Fun Day, which is being held on the second day of the series. The initiative will take children on an artistic journey and involve them in a variety of art workshops and projects that have been formulated to help express their imagination in the most creative and innovative ways possible.
The third day of the programme has a focus on culture, taking the children on a trip through time to learn about the histories and heritage of a number of Arab countries. It will feature workshops on traditional rope-making, doll design, wicker palm products and garment manufacture that reflect the early industries of the UAE.
Encouraging expression through singing is the theme of the programme’s fifth day, which will host a special event with a number of children who will be exhibiting their vocal talents and sharing their tuneful renditions with the attendees. A treasure hunt activity will also be taking place on the fifth day, following with a cinema outing which takes place on the sixth day and the programme.
“SACF has carefully chosen these activities considering the diverse values and opportunities it provides to Arab children in their development and empowerment process. We believe that it is important to combine education with entertainment in order to motivate children on the concepts of creativity and imagination when it comes to developing leadership and innovation skills,” added BinKaram.
More than 120 Arab children aged 8-12 years have been selected to participate in SACF 2016, with the event being conducted with more than 10 Arab countries participating in the forum.