To Dubai Aluminium, DUBAL, the entirely state-owned corporation that owns and operates the world’s largest primary aluminium smelter using pre-bake anode technology, meaningful corporate social responsibility involves improving living conditions and creating opportunities for underprivileged and disadvantaged members of society. Accordingly, DUBAL consciously supports initiatives that provide skills training and other educational opportunities to those with limited access to these resources. Indeed, the company has actively engaged in three such educational programmes since the start of 2013, all of which have equipped the participants to participate more actively in the community and improve their quality of life.
Start Early – Early Childhood Education
A total of 17 female adult education students in Grades 9, 10 and 11 at Nad Al Sheba School, Dubai, are benefitting from a series of ten weekly Start Early workshops (from 10 February to 19 May 2013). These workshops, each 45 minutes long, provide new methodologies and training to assist mothers become proficient and creative educators of their children, thus helping to maximise their children’s potential and development in the years prior to their formal schooling. The topics covered in the Start Early workshops include learning through play; child safety; early reading and writing; communication skills; and behaviour management. The aim of the training is to help mothers build more creative and inspiring learning environments at home; improve the quality of child training in the home setting; help parents be both caregivers and teachers of their children; equip mothers to be good role models for others; and train mothers to support their children as they progress through the formal education channels. DUBAL is not only sponsoring the series of workshops, but also providing volunteers from within its employee base to aid in the running of the workshops.
Ten weekly sessions of the English Live programme began at Qurtoba Adult Education School, Jumeirah, on 6 February and will continue until 15 May. Two group totalling 45 women have enrolled for the programme, which aims to boost student’s communication skills in English, thus enabling them to achieve higher results at school and ultimately enter English-medium colleges and universities. This is summed up in the programme’s objectives, which include boosting students’ confidence in their English usage; stimulate their creative-thinking skills; enhance their employability and work skills; and introduce new teaching methodologies to the teachers who observe the trainers during the sessions. Again, DUBAL is not only sponsoring the English Live, but also female employees are providing volunteer assistance during the sessions.
DUBAL marked International Women’s Day by hosting a mini-forum entitled “Inspiring Women” at the company’s premises on 6 March 2013. The agenda featured case study presentations, interactive panel discussions and workshops covering diverse topics – from safety and first aid at home; through beauty tips and a Start Early session; to positive assertiveness skills. Two inspirational speakers also addressed the gathering, each relating their personal journeys of discovery and their achievements along the way. A total of 67 women attended the mini-forum, drawn from various non-governmental organisations, schools and DUBAL’s lady employees.
Commenting on these initiatives, Khalid Buhumaid (Vice President: Corporate Relations & International Affairs) said, “Through these programmes, DUBAL aims to equip and inspire women in the UAE to acquire new knowledge and to overcome many of today’s lifestyle challenges. By developing their individual skills and capabilities, the participants have been given greater opportunities for personal growth, which will ultimately contribute to the social and economic progress of Dubai.”