The Department of Community Development – Abu Dhabi united entities and individuals from the social, private, and third sectors during the second Social Sector Business Forum (SSBF).
This initiative marked a significant stride forward in fostering collaboration across various sectors, to harness opportunities and growth. It also enabled partners across the Abu Dhabi ecosystem to explore, identify, and co-create solutions aimed at addressing the most prominent social challenges in the emirate.
The forum was attended by His Excellency Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the DCD; His Excellency Mansoor Ibrahim Al Mansoori, Chairman of Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, H.E. Eng. Hamad Ali Al Dhaheri, Undersecretary of the of Department of Community Development, H.E. Aref Hamad Al Awani, Secretary General of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, H.E. Sarah Ibrahim Shuhail, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Center for Shelter and Humanitarian Care – Ewaa, H.E. Salama Al Ameemi, Director General of Authority of Social Contribution (Ma'an), and H.E. Khalaf Abdulla Al Hammadi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Pension, H.E. Mohamed Suhail Alrashdi, Major General - Abu Dhabi Police. Also in attendance of representatives from the government, private sector, companies, and third sector, among others.
Under the theme 'Fostering a Dignified Life for the Elderly in Abu Dhabi,' SSBF reflected DCD’s commitment to enhancing the well-being of the elderly, celebrating their invaluable contributions, and establishing a supportive environment that prioritises good quality of life. Furthermore, there was an elderly-led think tank organised, serving as a platform for the elderly to voice their perspectives and insights.
Additionally, the forum hosted the Wyakom 2023 awarding ceremony, which was the culmination of DCD’s innovative platform where Abu Dhabi’s community provided solutions to challenges impacting the lives of the Emirate’s elderly. This included seniors’ social, emotional, and financial well-being.
This year’s forum also saw the showcase of videos highlighting the successful outcomes from last year’s inaugural event.
H.E. Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the Department of Community Development, said: “In regards to the social sector, we are committed to enabling collaboration across diverse sectors, culminating in the development of impactful solutions that benefit our society. As an integral part of the fabric of Abu Dhabi society, we must also acknowledge the priceless contributions of elderly citizens to Abu Dhabi's vibrant culture and society.
Al Khaili stressed: “These efforts come as a continuation of empowering and supporting the elderly in Abu Dhabi. We also have specific initiatives that involve community members with formulating sustainable and innovative solutions to enhance the quality of life of the elderly. The department also launched this year the Family Wellbeing Strategy which includes an axis dedicated for the elderly. The work with our partners will formulate programmes which strengthen the social ties of the elderly and enhances their participation as active members of society. These efforts will further contribute to providing the highest levels of care for the elderly in order to enhance their health and well-being.
“Their wisdom, knowledge, and life experiences serve to enrich our community and it is our responsibility to honour their vital role in shaping our identity and ensure they can live a dignified life as they age.
H.E Shaikha Alhosani, Executive Director of the Social Monitoring and Innovation Sector at DCD, said: “We’re pleased to organize the second Social Sector Business Forum, which is an interactive platform that enhances the role of partnerships in serving the social sector agenda – as well as enhance the well-being and quality of life of community members. This year’s forum addressed the topic of the elderly, who represent a revolution for future generations.”
Alhosani highlighted the role played by the department and partners by examining opportunities to activate new initiatives and partnerships that contribute to enhancing the well-being of community members. Additionally, the second forum was dedicated to supporting the quality of life of the elderly, as discussion sessions were organized by international speakers and experts in the social field. Knowledge exchange on issues pertaining to senior citizens is also present within the forum, including housing, health care, social and mental health, financial stability, and more.
“The elderly are the backbone of our society and have played an integral part in creating the advanced, thriving emirate we live in today. Today we honored the winners of the “Wyakom” initiative aimed at improving the lives of the elderly.We look forward to seeing these winning initiatives be implemented with the support of our esteemed partners, with the goal of making a lasting and tangible impact on our society.”
"Wyakom" celebrates the winners of its second edition
The forum hosted the “Wyakom 2023” awards ceremony, launched by the department in cooperation with the social sector partners. This forum attracted people with pioneering ideas towards innovative solutions to the challenges faced by the elderly in the emirate. The solutions included mechanisms for enhancing the social, emotional and financial well-being of the elderly.
The first-place award was won by Salem Al-Buraiki and Amal Al-Buraiki who presented an innovative solution called “Al-Liwan”. It centers on creating comfortable places for gatherings outside mosques, thus providing a comfortable environment for the elderly to communicate with their fellow community members after prayer. This solution contributes in enhancing community participation and communication between different generations.
The “Hekmat Jaddi” initiative by Nouf Al-Zaidi came in second place. This initiative includes a program for exchanging knowledge and wisdom in schools, and is based on inviting the elderly to share their valuable experiences and wisdom with students. This solution strengthens ties between generations, and also preserves the invaluable wisdom of the older generation, ensuring its transmission across generations.
Third prize went to Abdul Rahman Al Zaabi's "Kashta Siyahiya," an idea centered around planning trips for leisure vacations using vehicles that are specifically designed with the elderly in mind. By planning and arranging frequent leisure and touristic trips to tour locations across Abu Dhabi, this approach seeks to improve social bonds and relationships amongst the senior population.
SSBF was first launched by DCD in November 2022, in line with the department’s role as the regulator of Abu Dhabi’s social sector. Held every year, the forum actively engages diverse sectors and specialists with the aim of promoting a sustainable, transparent, and responsive society and economy in the emirate.