The HCT Sharjah campuses celebrated the achievements of the Determined Ones when they hosted the annual Spring Festival for Determined Children on April 25.
The campuses’ Determined One’s Committee, made up of staff and faculty from various departments and Faculties in both campuses, convened the final Spring Festival, which had a theme to celebrate the Year of Zayed.
The fun-filled day was created in collaboration with Sharjah Women’s campus (SJW) Education students, who organized a number of activities for the Determined children.
Dr. Abdullatif Alshamsi, HCT Vice Chancellor, along with Dr. Muhadditha Al Hashimi, SJW Director, and Dr. Abdulla Al Suwaiji, SJM Director, officiated at the opening ceremony of the event, which was followed by the Sharjah Academic Police Band, who played the National Anthem.
An opening speech, welcoming the VIP guests and the guest speaker, was given by Amal Abdulkarim, a CIS student from SJW.
Dr. Abdulla Al Suwaiji, SJM Director, gave an inspiring speech on encouraging The Determined One’s. Guest Speaker, Mr. Rashed Saeed Al Marzouqi – Community Care Executive, Social Care and Inclusion Department, at Community Development Authority – followed the inspirational theme with his presentation ‘Determination & Hope.’, which showcased how far he has reached in the past few years and his determination and hope!
The opening ceremony was concluded with the Guest Speaker being recognized and appreciated by Dr. Abdullatif Alshamsi, Vice Chancellor, along with Dr. Muhadditha Al Hashimi, SJW Director and Dr. Abdulla Al Suwaiji, SJM Director.
Antoinette Wiseman, Chair of The Determined One’s Committee and Education Lecturer at SJW, signaled the beginning of the activities with a short speech welcoming the students.
The fun-filled event held at the campuses’ sports complex, hosted approximately 165 students, from Al Wafa School for Capacity Development, Sharjah Autism Center and the HCT- Daycare Center children.
Many students from SJW and Education students from the Al Ain Women’s campus (AAW), accompanied by Kesha Oliver, AAW Lecturer, together with Sharjah campuses’ faculty and staff, were on hand to ensure the day was a total success.
Guest Speaker, Rashid Saeed Al Marzouqi, commended the student involvement, ‘’I loved how HCT students were involved in preparing the event and participating in it,‘’ . he said.
This was also praised by Dr. Muhadditha Al Hashimi, who said: “The volunteer’s number is higher than last year, and they are the ones that created the activities, they bought the simple materials by themselves that was really impressive.”
The event included a variety of educational and fun activities for the children, featuring storytelling, arts and crafts activities including baby shark and bug swat, along with face painting, various sports activities, and interactive games. There was also a gift corner and all the children’s favorite jumping castle. A performance from “Dubai Drums” was enjoyed by all present, with students and staff being included in the show.
Dr. Philip Quirke, Faculty of Education Executive Dean, highlighted that the activities and the different stations, were not just fun activities, but were efforts by the Education students to “tie in theory, especially about the way they need to work on different motor skills, fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination. Every station had a need to meet for the determined ones”.
The Determined students at SJW organized a Year of Zayed booth, which highlighted the efforts made by Sheikh Zayed toward the Determined One’s and the current efforts by the UAE towards inclusion and support of the Determined Ones. The booth included information on Arabic sign language, with students learning how to sign their name, along with a Braille copy of the Holy Quran, for the visually impaired.
The New England Center in Abu Dhabi donated children’s storybooks, from the Ministry of Social Affairs, to share with the Determined Ones.
To highlight the theme of inclusion, the students at Year of Zayed booth included a presentation title “People with special needs in the view of Quran and Sunnah.”
It was an enjoyable day, with everyone participating in a fun and inclusive community atmosphere.
The festival ended with lunch for all, after which the children gave their farewells with smiles, laughter and fond memories.
Raghda Mohammed Altoum, a teacher in Al Wafa School, said ”The program was good, everything was organized from the start of the event”, while Marwa Mohammed, an abilities developer in Sharjah Human City, said: “I’m glad I attended the HCT festival, because it provides an interactive atmosphere between the students and the visitors” and she applauded the effort put in by the students and the organizers.
Antoinette Wiseman, the chair of The Determined One’s Committee said the day was a “success.”