Sunday, October 11, 2009

CDA organizes awareness day for students on importance of respect for the elderly

Dubai, October 8, 2009: Building on a special campaign, “My Parents…My Blessing”, to mark the International Day for the Elderly, the Community Development Authority in Dubai (CDA) organised an awareness day for students of GEMS Jumeirah Primary School and American International School Dubai. The initiative was aimed at spreading awareness on the importance of respecting the elder people.

The awareness day included various activities including stage plays performed by students. The play shed light on the importance of respecting the elders and ways of interacting with them. Selected children were given special costumes, which allow them to experience the physical impediments experienced by older people on a daily basis. These included goggles wrapped with transparent paper to impair their vision, swimming floaters to hinder the movement of the arms and diving fins for feet to hinder ability to run or even walk. Experts from CDA explained the daily challenges that are faced by the elders and how youngsters can lend a hand to ease their pain.

His Excellency Mr Khalid Ali Al Kamda, Director General, CDA, said: “Respect and care for the elderly must be part of a national culture and it is extremely important that youngsters are made aware of the valuable contribution of the elders to our society. Their efforts have helped shape the nation, as we see today. Our special campaign aimed at strengthening interaction of youngsters with the elderly and thus accord the deserved and prime position that the older generation has in today’s society.’

Sheikh Maktoum Butti Al Maktoum, CEO – Social Care, said: “CDA aims at involving all segments of society in the social development of Dubai. The elderly constitute an important segment of the nation who have made commendable contribution to the society. We must move forward with an effective and collective vision for social development based on the participation of all stakeholders. There is an urgent need to support the elderly members of society by improving their living conditions and protecting their rights”.

Stephen Chynoweth Principal, GEMS Jumeirah Primary School, said, “At GEMS we constantly encourage our students to actively participate in community affairs. The session with CDA further instilled in the students the need to take care of the elderly and empathise with their needs. We thank CDA for the insightful discussion and celebration of the International Day for Older Persons, which I am confident, will have a great influence on our students."

The Community Development Authority also organized a variety of events involving school and university students in Dubai, which aimed at raising awareness about the importance of respect for the elderly, exerting effort and time to care for parents and grandparents, and ensuring the participation of older persons in Dubai’s social development plans.

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