Children attending the Sharjah Arab Children Forum (SACF), currently underway at the Riqqa Children Centre in Sharjah, are having their leadership skills developed and honed at a series of 5 educational events and activities. Designed as an integral component of the region’s leading youth empowerment event, the five forums at SACF 2016 aim to help children build their own leadership capacities and break down barriers built by feelings of shyness.
The activities are part of a 3-day program hosted by the 12th edition of SACF, which is being held under the title: ‘Hear us, We are the Future,’ under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs. Organised by Sharjah Children Centre - a subsidiary of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs – SACF continues until April 3, 2016.
Speaking about the workshops and program, Reem BinKaram, Head of the Organising Committee of the Sharjah Arab Children Forum, and Director of Sharjah Children Centres, said; “The primary goal of this initiative was to nurture children and guide them to embrace the right path in a proper manner, so as to ensure they are able to build a better future for themselves. Formulating children's futures greatly relies on their cognitive abilities and ways of thinking. This
is why we at the forum have carefully selected multi-dimension programmes that focus on how to shape children's future in a positive manner.”
The organising of the SACF workshops comes as part of the forum’s programme of helping children build their leadership personalities by first imbuing confidence and self-esteem and then fostering within them leadership qualities. The workshops offer tips and techniques that help break down barriers of bashfulness between children and strengthen their personalities to be able to be assertive when required. Other objectives include igniting a spirit of leadership in children, teaching them positive values, helping them to understand the importance of teamwork and encouraging a collective approach to problem solving.
The five workshops have been formulated to offer a wide range of activities and games that stimulate children’s creative thinking and innovation. Competitions, drawing and painting are among the many activities conducted during the three-day programme. One specific initiative saw the children attending making their future’s ‘suitcase’ that comprised all that they need for the coming years. Another main theme highlighted during the programme was ‘sustainable cities’ to motivate children to think creatively and come up with innovative solutions and ideas about the future of children as leaders of these cities.
BinKaram added that the new training programmes are being conducted for the first time and have been designed specifically to create a pleasant atmosphere for children that enable them to mingle and interact with their other peers without barriers, fear or shyness. They aim to develop and empower children by providing them with inspirational, team-building and motivational skills, thus helping them to proactively shape their future and put them on the right track. She pointed out that the programmes have been tailored in line with the latest technology and global changes and developments in all walks of life to inspire children and unleash their creativity and innovation.
"We will gauge children's opinions by the end of these workshops to determine to which extent they have benefited from, in order to develop the upcoming activities and programs to ensure a better future for children,” she said.
SACF is a biannual Pan-Sharjah initiative established to be a platform for Arab children to discuss issues and exchange ideas. It facilitates the sharing of experiences with their peers from all nationalities in a safe and stable environment conducive to creativity and collective work. SACF treats children as an important section of society who play a significant role in shaping the present and future of the world.