Ministry of Interior honours Abu Dhabi TCA for its efforts to encourage rehabilitation through art

28th May

In a gesture of appreciation for Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority’s (TCA Abu Dhabi’s) efforts in stimulating interest in the arts among the younger generation, the Ministry of Interior yesterday (Monday) honoured the organisation during a ceremony that celebrated partners of the ‘Juvenile Care Centre Rehabilitation Project’.

This acknowledgement follows the recent launch of TCA Abu Dhabi’s ‘Rehabilitation Programme Through Art For Young Generations’, a community outreach arts programme which is set to heighten interest in the arts for young Emiratis currently in juvenile detention centres.

The Ministry of Interior praised TCA Abu Dhabi’s continuous work supporting initiatives that benefit the community, particularly its efforts to support juveniles through social programmes and arts workshops. Such rehabilitation programmes aim to encourage positive juvenile behaviour which ultimately contributes to society’s welfare.

TCA Abu Dhabi’s outreach programme provides an outlet for addressing emotional and behavioural problems by giving participants the opportunity to learn new skills, discover untapped talent, and find positive expression through creative and therapeutic means

The programme will take art into the community with the dual purpose of increasing engagement in the arts and providing youngsters with opportunities to boost self-esteem, encourage learning, and empower them with tools and skills to start a new chapter in their life.

Highlighting art’s role as an important rehabilitative tool, HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General of TCA Abu Dhabi, said: “Our art education programmes reflect positively on the emirate’s history and heritage by forging links between cultural traditions and creativity. To be recognised in such a way by the Ministry of Interior for our contribution to such a progressive community outreach programme reflects the prominence we place on societal improvement, and the vital way that corporate social responsibility can encourage self-improvement.

“The link between engagement in the arts and improved personal wellbeing is now firmly established.  Our museums and arts development teams educate, empower and inspire new generations to feel more engaged and recognise the traditions of the UAE through the use of interesting and hands-on arts and crafts activities.” 

The programme introduced a diverse range of art-inspired activities to the young girls held in custody in the Al Mafraq Juvenile Welfare Centre (JWC) in Abu Dhabi.

Running for an initial three-month pilot period, the programme’s four interrelated but independent elements combine innovative participatory experiences with traditional art techniques, and culminated in a showcase of artworks by the youngsters at an annual exhibition in Manarat Al Saadiyat last week. In a partnership between TCA Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), participants will also create art pieces under the direction of the centre’s art teacher that will eventually be part of the yearly students’ exhibition hosted at the venue.

This pioneering initiative empowers young women to work together to create artworks inspired by the programmes and collections of various museums in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. The workshops will be further supported by virtual guided tours and talks corresponding with current programmes and exhibitions curated by TCA Abu Dhabi’s museum and cultural programming teams.

Artisanal handicraft making also forms a central tenet of the scheme, allowing girls to learn modern craft techniques in fashion, fabrics, textiles, jewellery making and flower making and be introduced to the handicraft skills of Emirati artisans. With everything they create being sold to the benefit of the girls, it is hoped they will transform an arts hobby into a small business idea once they leave the centre.

The final programme concentrates on art therapy, stress management and anger management. Delivered in cooperation with Abu Dhabi-based ‘Inner Space’, a series of 12 therapy sessions focussing on art, self-expression and emotional drawings will channel inner development and self-enhancement.

Once the pilot phase is concluded, the programme will include additional elements for the boys section, and also expand to incorporate adult prisoners and in-patients in different hospitals across the emirate.