DUBAI:– The Dubai Foundation for Women and Children (DFWAC) launched an Animal Assisted Therapy Programme sponsored by Himalaya Global Management Ltd at Expo 2020 Dubai.
Speaking on the occasion, Sheikha Saeed Al Mansouri, Acting Director-General of the DFWAC, stated, “The foundation strives to contribute to the development of our society and to serve all members of the community by providing social services in a sustainable manner. We believe that achieving this goal can only be done through building real and effective partnerships that contribute to raising social standards.”
The ceremony honoured the partners and supporters who contributed to supporting the programme in the presence of Ahmed Darwish Al Muhairi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of DFWAC.
Al Mansouri added, “I am delighted and honoured to meet you today at the launch of the Animal Assisted Therapy Programme, the first of its kind at the national level. It is in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and the objectives of Dubai 2021 plan to strengthen our social services and create an inclusive and cohesive society.”
She said that such a therapy programme is a unique approach that can replace or even complete the traditional psychotherapy sessions. It is known to incorporate animals into the psychotherapy process such as horses, dogs, rabbits, fish, and birds to improve people’s social performance and psychological and adaptive functioning, especially after undergoing strong trauma or negative experiences such as illness, loss, violence, abuse and exploitation. The programme targets the clients of the DFWAC who are victims of violence and exploitation, especially critical cases that shows symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder or any psychiatric symptoms related to anxiety and depression. Our goal is to develop new and innovative ways to support children and women who are victims of violence and exploitation and improve victims’ adaptive and interactive abilities.
Al Mansouri thanked all the partners and supporters who played a key role in the foundation’s programmes and initiatives.
Ghanima Hassan Al Bahri, Care and Rehabilitation Director, stated, “The animal-assisted psychotherapy sessions will take place on the DFWAC premises along with other activities that would be held in other facilities such as the Dubai Police, farms, stables, etc. Moreover, the programme will be evaluated through an observations form for the behaviour of victims who are receiving therapy and the Client’s Happiness Survey at the DFWAC.”