A new Arts & Educational centre costing Dh9 million will be in place by April 2014 at the Sharjah Ladies Club (SLC) — to double the 40,000 students of different nationalities benefiting from various on-going programmes.
Dubbed ‘Mother & Child Centre', this new facility includes two Bumblebee classrooms, two art studios, two party halls, a Yoga room, cooking room, pottery room, computer laboratory, music room, library, kids salon and spa as well as a cafe.
Director of the Sharjah Ladies Club Khawla Al Serkal said that the new centre will cater to pre-school children from two to five years old, children from six to 12 years old, and teenagers as well as adults, mothers and housewives.
"Currently, we have ballet, music, language, bumblebee, Quran, art, camps and afterschool programmes.”
She said the new facility was inspired by the city of Sharjah itself which embraces such concepts related to motherhood and childhood.
"Since Sharjah is running the Baby Friendly City campaign and promoting the work environments that support working mothers, the need of a centre which focuses on the educational and artistic needs of mother and child is increasing, and from here the idea of the centre has blossomed and found the proper support by Her Highness Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Deputy Chairperson of Sharjah Ladies Club (SLC), and Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs,” she said.
The old centre had a ballet studio but with no changing rooms and showers. There were two small classrooms for Bumblebee programmes, which will have bigger space in the new centre. The pottery and ceramic studio was available seven years ago, but due to the demands of other programmes, SLC had to shut it down and utilise the room as a multipurpose space. At the moment, the art centre services are running in different facilities around the club and we try to utilise the contemporary available resources to provide the basic services at least until the new centre is launched.
Opened in 1994, the Arts & Educational Centre has never witnessed any renovation process. "The need to have some dramatic improvements was quiet necessary to be able to cope with the rapid changes around us,” Al Serkal said.
The construction of the new facility was the offshoot of a meeting held in the second quarter of 2012 at SLC, which discussed the renovation plans of SLC facilities, specifically the Arts & Educational Centre. The Centre becomes the most extensive form of renovation in SLC history due to the increasing demand on the educational arts services in Sharjah by different ages.
Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher headed the annual Board of Directors meeting on October 23 2012 along with department managers and managements, during which the club's plans, strategies and achievements were discussed. The future expansion plans in the club's facilities and programmes for the upcoming year were also presented.
Sheikha Bodour said that SLC is seeking to serve women within its scope of work, and that is through placing strategic development plans and mechanisms that are compatible with Sharjah Government's vision in achieving a comprehensive and sustainable development.
She assured that all development plans for the club's facility buildings comes according to the plan that has been developed for the next two years, which comes in line with the general developments in the Emirate of Sharjah.
"Women in the UAE receive a huge appreciation, which is rarely seen in the world, and this appreciation stems from our Islamic religion and guidance of our great leaders. Pointing out that the idea of Sharjah Ladies Club and its continuing interest in the care and developments is only a part of the general interest in women and Emirati families.”
Based on the strategies set for 2014 and accomplishments made in 2013, SLC has pre-planned everything 10 years ahead and is expecting to double the 2012 students to use the facility.
"The capacity of the centre is noticeably more than enough in all classrooms to secure steady and permanent services that will not face any interruption or lack of space or technology,” Al Serkal said.
Currently, Sharjah Ladies Club is preparing to launch the Arts & Educational Centre with its new look and name, which includes a variety of services for mother and child in the year 2014.
Source: Khaleej Times