Centre fields nearly 900 calls during last 12 months
The Abu Dhabi Center for Sheltering and Humanitarian Care –Ewaa, an affiliate of the Department of Community Development, announced providing its prevention, care and empowerment services for more than 740 violence and abuse and human trafficking cases. Since establishment, the total number of Ewaa’s beneficiaries amounted to more than 1000 beneficiaries.
The announcement came days after the second anniversary of Abu Dhabi Executive Council’s resolution on expanding Ewaa’s mandate to handle cases of violence and abuse in Abu Dhabi, as well as human trafficking cases in the UAE.
Among its 10 main services, reporting has played an integral role in Ewaa’s growth. Ewaa’s hotline800 SAVE (800 7283) fielded about 900 calls over the past 12months, and most inquiries were related to provided services, support for violence cases, how to receive a safe shelter, aids, and humanitarian care.
Currently, main services are reporting, referral, social support and rehabilitation, psychological support, consultation and legal support, family consultation, social services, sheltering, research, and community contributions management.
Consultation and legal support service is provided to the highest share of beneficiaries, due to legal issues that most violence cases go through and absence of legal awareness that leads to rights’ violation.
All services ensure confidentiality using the latest case management systems.
Ewaa’s services are provided seamlessly in collaboration with a comprehensive network and through fruitful partnerships.
Most prominent partnerships lately were law enforcement agencies, for their role in referring cases and facilitating solutions for legal issues, such as loss of identification documents, legal defence and translation.
A memorandum of understanding was signed with the National Health Insurance Company –Daman, to provide enhanced health insurance services to Ewaa’s beneficiaries. The agreement paves way for exploring further collaboration opportunities.
As Ewaa receives more children, the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA)has recently contributed to its endeavours with guidance and knowledge-sharing,while the Center worked on allocating a new shelter for children, in line with the highest international standards.For months, ECA ensured that the building creates a safe environment for children as they prosper and engage in care and rehabilitation activities.
At the beginning of the year, Ewaa collaborated with the Monitoring and Innovation Sector at the Department of Community Development, to develop and launch a survey to identify the causes of domestic violence and patterns of abusive behavior. Results will lead the Center’s endeavours towards evidence-based enhancements.
It works closely with Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination (ZHO), during provision of services for people of determination, especially during psychological assessment.
Abu Dhabi Social Support Authority, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Community Development, Authority of Social Contribution –Ma’an, Abu Dhabi Housing Authority, and many other entities, come together to streamline the Center’s operations and respond to each case’s needs.
Since its inception, a centre in Abu Dhabi has handled over a thousand cases of human trafficking, domestic violence, and family disputes
Over the last couple of years, more than 740 cases of child abuse, domestic violence and family disputes have been lodged at a humanitarian care centre in Abu Dhabi.
One of these cases is that of a three-year-old girl who sustained serious injuries in a fire incident —after being left home alone.
The girl was taken to the Abu Dhabi Centre for Sheltering and Humanitarian Care —Ewaa, which ensured that she was able to get proper medical care.
Her mother was arrested and charged with neglect. It was then the Ewaa staff who took care of the toddler, accompanying her to regular health checks and helping her recover overall.
Counsellors encouraged the child to express herself through play and art. They used behavioural psychotherapy tools to understand her state of mind and help her overcome the emotional trauma she had suffered.
Ewaa also arranged for the child’s paternal grandmother and aunt to speak to her through video calls and even visit her while she was at the shelter.
The centre also provided the child with legal assistance by helping her renew her passport.
Ewaa had collaborated with the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department and Daman, which covered the girl’s healthcare needs.
The child is now lives with her paternal grandmother, following a court ruling on her custody.
The UAE’s Federal Law No. 3 of 2016 concerning child rights, also known as Wadeema’s Law, protects children under the age of 18 from all forms of negligence, exploitation, physical and psychological abuses.
Violating this law can lead to a prison sentence, a fine or both. Neglecting a child to the extent their physical being is in danger amounts to child abuse. Children who experience abuse can grow up to have social and emotional issues.
Family dispute: Helping a teenager who ran away twice
Since its inception, Ewaa has handled over a thousand cases. Another success story involved a 14-year-old girl had fled her home twice, leaving her widowed mother worried for her safety.
The mother approached Ewaa for help, claiming that the girl’s paternal grandmother was influencing her daughter to rebel against her.
She was concerned that her teenager may not be safe at her grandma’s house, surrounded by uncles and cousins with criminal records.
Ewaa’s therapists spoke to the girl at length and understood that her mother’s suspicions were correct. The girl underwent individual counselling sessions as well family sessions, which included the grandmother.
After a few sessions, the teenager expressed a desire to return to her mother and siblings.
Currently, the teenager is with her mother and siblings, happy and content. Ewaa continues to stay in touch with the family to ensure there is no more conflict.
According to Ewaa, a broken family can be the root of several social problems. The UAE gives family ties utmost importance. In 2019, the country launched the Family Protection Policy to strengthen social ties among UAE’s families and communities.
Domestic violence: Young woman abused for wanting to pursue higher education
In the third case, a young woman wanted to pursue her higher education and get a job. But her suspicious father wouldn’t agree. She was confined to her home and was verbally and physically abused, forced to work without pay.
The woman wanted to flee abroad but the Covid-19 pandemic made it difficult for her to leave.
She then contacted Ewaa’s hotline 800 SAVE (800 7283) and went to a shelter.
At the shelter, the woman went through individual psychotherapy sessions to develop and encourage positive thinking. She explored how to set the right goals and plan to achieve them. Ewaa’s therapists also held counselling sessions for the entire family to help them understand the problems and resolve them amicably.
The Abu Dhabi Armed Forces Officers Club then helped the woman get a job.
Ewaa resolved the conflict within the family and reunited them. The centre has also been conducting regular follow-ups with the family.
“When people experience psychological and verbal abuse, they can suffer from low self-esteem. It takes courage and counselling to help people break this pattern of abuse and emerge stronger,” said Ewaa.
Dial 800-SAVE to ask for help
The Abu Dhabi Centre for Sheltering and Humanitarian Care –Ewaa was established in 2008 to provide prompt care, rehabilitation, and empowerment to victims of human trafficking in the UAE. By 2020, it became an affiliate of the Department of Community Development and its mandate expanded to handle cases of violence and abuse in Abu Dhabi.
In accordance with global standards and best practices, Ewaa provides holistic services including reporting, social and psychological rehabilitation, family counselling and legal support in addition to its 24/7 hotline 800-SAVE.
Through programmes and initiatives, it raises awareness and seeks to change the perception in the community towards violence.
Ewaa receives most of the cases from places of worship or through its hotline (800 7283).
Areas to be prioritised for the funding include education, health, family cohesion, social support, and Covid-19 related issues
Ma’an, the Authority of Social Contribution, has allocated a total of Dh168.9 million for various social priorities to support thousands of needy citizens and residents.
The amount represents 35.1 per cent of Dh480.9 million –the total financial contributions it has received from different institutions and individuals through the Social Investment Fund over the past three years, since its establishment.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Ma’an revealed the key areas where the financial contributions were allocated.
The authority received these contributions as part of its support for the three key social priorities officially approved by the Department of Community Development in Abu Dhabi (DCD).
As the official channel to collect individual and corporate social responsibility contributions, the Authority enables all segments of society, including individuals, organisations and companies in Abu Dhabi and the UAE, to contribute financially to innovative social programmes and initiatives run by Ma’an.
This allows them to, based on the contributors’ interests, connect their brands with the local community in line with Abu Dhabi’s social priorities.
The financial contributions can be made through the Ma’an website, direct deposits in its bank accounts, bank transfers, or by contacting the Authority’s Social Investment Fund team through various communication channels.
The social priorities identified by Ma’an to offer financial support include education, health, family cohesion, social support, necessities, and issues resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.
As part of the drive, 49 social initiatives and programmes were run by various government entities and non-profit social organisations based in Abu Dhabi.
Figures from Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi (SCAD) show that the financial allocations made by Ma’an for various social initiatives delivered a significant positive impact on the lives of 695,000 citizens and residents across Abu Dhabi –representing 24 per cent of the emirate’s 2.9 million population.
Salama Al Ameemi, Director General of Ma’an, said: “The profound impact that Ma’an’s social support initiatives and programmes have on the Abu Dhabi community is the outcome of the solidarity and cooperation that exists among various segments of the society, both in the city and the UAE, and both at individual and organisational levels.
In the UAE, we have learned from our wise leadership that collaboration driven by creativity and innovation is the best tool to ensure the prosperity of the current and future generations.
At Ma’an, our role is to inspire the collective efforts of various sectors to achieve the desired social impact based on the approved social priorities.”
The total value of the financial assistance provided by Ma’an to its beneficiaries stood at Dh168.9 million.
Of this, nearly 39.3 per cent, or Dh66.3 million, was allocated to initiatives and programmes supporting the education sector.
28.4 percent, or Dh47.9. million, was given to the programmes and initiatives related to healthcare.
Furthermore, Dh54.6 million was allocated for community support priorities, representing 32.3 percent of the total allocations.
Al Ameemi also noted that Ma’an, which was established by the DCD in 2019, functions as a link between government, private, and third sector organisations to promote a collaborative effort to address social priorities.
In order to meet this goal, the Authority offers innovative solutions with a sustainable and measurable impact to promote solidarity and cooperation in UAE society.
“In view of the strong involvement of government, private and third sector entities in tackling community affairs in Abu Dhabi”, Al Ameemi added, “Ma’an is committed to providing the appropriate support for all our partners to realise Abu Dhabi Government’s visions, and strategic direction, to ensure comprehensive social care for all segments of the UAE’s society.”
To generate a positive impact within the community, Ma’an, in collaboration with DCD, offered financial assistance to 49 social programmes and initiatives led by various governmental, non-profit and community organisations, including:
Functioning as a reliable official partner for interested stakeholders seeking to contribute financially to community initiatives, Ma’an offers practical solutions to organisations, corporations, and individuals to support their local community based on the social priorities approved through its CSR portal.
The National Health Insurance Company –Daman has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Abu Dhabi Centre for Sheltering and Humanitarian Care -Ewaa, an affiliate of the Department of Community Development in Abu Dhabi, to enhance cooperation in the protection of human rights and to provide healthcare for beneficiaries staying at Ewaa’s shelters.
The MoU will strengthen the partnership between Daman and Ewaa, consolidating the two entities’ efforts to support the wellbeing of the community, particularly those who need prompt aid and healthcare. The agreement, which is part of Daman’s social responsibility initiatives, will also lead to building a community that empowers and protects its members from the risk of violence.
As part of the two entities’ shared commitment to provide healthcare access to victims of human trafficking and domestic violence, Daman will provide free full healthcare coverage to victims under the care of Ewaa; covering their healthcare needs.
Sarah Shuhail, Director-General of Ewaa, said, “This MoU is the culmination of our longstanding partnership with Daman, which has driven a major impact on transforming beneficiaries form victims to empowered individuals in their communities. Over the past years, we have witnessed how Daman augments the Centre’s values, which helps us ensure that our beneficiaries have the best levels of empowerment and privacy.”
“The Centre’s strategic goals are based on establishing a network of complimentary services that includes local, federal, regional, and international partners to provide integrated and sustainable services that meet the highest levels of care and empowerment to victims of human trafficking and domestic violence. Due to the nature of the Centre’s work and the cases it receives, the provision of healthcare -in which Daman plays a vital role -is a very important factor during a victim’s psychological and social rehabilitation process,” she added.
Hamad Al Mehyas, CEO of Daman, said, “Signing this MoU reflects our efforts towards providing quality healthcare coverage at the highest standards for our members across the country. The agreement is in line with our commitment as a socially responsible company to support the national efforts to ensure healthcare accessibility for all.”
“We are proud with our relationship with Ewaa, which began in 2014, and the work we did together to support the most vulnerable in our society. As part of this partnership, we will continue supporting all victims in line with our shared objective to be a source of positive contribution to a cohesive society that embraces all its members,” he added.
This MoU falls under Daman’s corporate social responsibility initiatives, which previously included an initiative to provide enhanced insurance plans to frontline heroes from the medical community and a partnership to support the community with the Authority of Social Contribution –Ma’an at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, Daman committed to supporting the World Early Childhood Development Movement (WED) led by Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority. The health insurer social efforts has seen it being listed as one of the most parent-friendly workplaces in Abu Dhabi and is on LinkedIn’s ranking of one of the most employee-empowering companies in the UAE.
The Abu Dhabi Centre for Sheltering and Humanitarian Care -Ewaa, an affiliate of the Department of Community Development, has received representatives from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
The meeting discussed Ewaa’s expanded mandate and its provided services for violence and abuse cases in Abu Dhabi. Both parties used the opportunity to explore untapped potential for capacity building, streamlining aftercare procedures, and facilitating resettlement of human trafficking cases when needed.
Elimination of violence against women has been discussed, among other shared priorities. While Ewaa reported higher levels of victimisation among women compared to other segments, UNHCR highlighted the significant increase of violence against women since the COVID-19 outbreak. Specialised training programmes and joint workshops on human trafficking and violence against women have been considered for future endeavours.
“Ewaa has a long history of cooperation with UNHCR that lasted for more than a decade. We have worked together on various human trafficking cases over the years to ensure resettlement, if required, following provision of care and rehabilitation services at Ewaa,” said Sarah Shuhail, Director-General of Ewaa.
“Tapping on a wide network of partners by exchanging knowledge is one of our main strategic goals that seek providing rehabilitation and empowerment services in line with the highest global standards,”she explained.
Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, has affirmed that the UAE has achieved significant progress in recent years on the legislative, institutional, and strategic levels. The UAE Government has adopted numerous policies that enhance the human rights structure in the country to preserve women’s achievements. With the support of the federal and local government to further empower women, the UAE Government continues working to enhance women’s representation and prevent all forms of discrimination against them.
The Minister chaired the UAE delegation participating in the review session of the country’s fourth periodic report on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), which was held from June 21 to 22, 2022 at the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva.
The delegation included representatives from the Ministry of Community Development, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Health and Prevention, Federal National Council, UAE Gender Balance Council, General Women’s Union, Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security and Abu Dhabi Centre for Sheltering and Humanitarian Care.
Meeting reinforces Center’s role as an active member of the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking.
Resilient bilateral relations are seized under UAE-Thailand MoU on exchanging information and experiences in the fight against human trafficking.
Abu Dhabi Centre for Sheltering and Humanitarian Care –Ewaa, a member of the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, has showcased its best practices in empowering trafficking survivors to representatives of the Royal Thai Embassy and discussed ways to uproot the issue at exporting countries.
During the meeting held by Ewaa, Sarah Shuhail, Director-General of Ewaa, and Ambassador Waravuth Pouapinya of Thailand, recognised the need to open more channels of dialogue and cooperation with each other, as per the UAE-Thailand Memorandum of Understanding on combating human trafficking.
The meeting kicked off with a presentation of Ewaa’s strategic goals regarding the protection and rehabilitation of survivors. The Centre’s representatives placed a strong emphasis on commitment to providing shelters and needful support to all segments as well as harmony among all relevant stakeholders.
Measures and precautions taken to guarantee empowerment of survivors have been discussed, from referral to reintegration in home countries.
The Centre detailed all aspects of its 360 Model of Care, which includes sheltering; legal support; social, psychological, and vocational rehabilitation; medical care; voluntary deportation; and aftercare.
It was briefed on the efforts of the Kingdom of Thailand to advance solutions and went through proposed ways of collaboration to ensure prevention.
Program aims at raising safety awareness at premises and shelters in collaboration with Emirates Foundation.
Over the course of the last four days, Abu Dhabi Center for Sheltering and Humanitarian Care —Ewaa,an affiliate of the Department of Community Development, hosted several educative workshops and outdoor trainings as part of Civil Protection and Safety program and Emergency First Responder course by Sanid, an Emirates Foundation initiative.
The event offered Ewaa’s employees an opportunity to engage in informative trainings and practical demonstrations, in line with its strategic goals and objectives towards improving crisis and emergency response, at premises and shelters, to maintain the safety of employees and cases, and achieve business continuity. At the event’s conclusion, employees have received accreditation in first aid and fire safety.
The event follows the completion of several awareness workshops, at all Ewaa’s shelters, in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Civil Defense Authority, attended by employees and cases.This reflects Ewaa’s keenness on providing a safe environment at shelters and focus on key performance indicators set by the Abu Dhabi Government.
Qualified trainers and supervisors will be appointed to provide education and training
Victims of abuse, violence and human trafficking in Abu Dhabi will be provided with vocational rehabilitation following a new agreement between two entities.
Abu Dhabi Centre for Sheltering and Humanitarian Care -Ewaa said on Thursday that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Al Ghadeer UAE Crafts, an Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) project, to activate a cooperative mechanism that achieves vocational rehabilitation of human trafficking and violence and abuse victims.
The MoU reflects dedication for joint social and humanitarian work by both parties. It complements Ewaa’s 360 Model of Care and aims at ensuring reintegration and further empowerment of victims within their societies.
Under the agreement, this will be accomplished through conducting handicrafts training programs at Al Ghadeer UAE Crafts’ premises for Ewaa’s beneficiaries, as well as knowledge sharing and exchange between the two parties. Courses and workshops to be established –qualified trainers and supervisors will be appointed to provide education and training for the beneficiaries.
Sarah Shuhail, Director-General of Ewaa, and Hamoud Al Junaibi, Deputy Secretary-General for Marketing and Resources Development, signed the memorandum, in the presence of other officials from both sides.
Sarah Shuhail said: “In line with our role in rehabilitating and empowering those who suffered from violence and abuse and human trafficking, Ewaa is committed to ensuring continuous collaboration with various stakeholders and expanding its network of partnerships. The strengthening of our collaboration with Emirates Red Crescent projects, including Al Ghadeer UAE Crafts, will help us enhance the process.”
“The MoU constitutes a mutually beneficial partnership that will ultimately achieve shared values and objectives,” she added.
Hamoud Al Junaibi applauded Ewaa for providing comprehensive care to victims and welcomed the signing of the MoU to pave the way for building constructive partnerships in the humanitarian and development fields.
He said that ERC will spare no effort to implement the agreement. “We strive to achieve our goals by facilitating rehabilitation for victims that enables them to be independent and reintegrate into their societies,” he added.
The Department of Community Development (DCD) in Abu Dhabi, in cooperation with Abu Dhabi Centre for Sheltering and Humanitarian Care (Ewa’a), has launched a survey to identify the causes of domestic violence and patterns of abusive behaviour. The questionnaire focuses on exploring different types of domestic violence identified in the family protection policy that was launched by the UAE government in November of 2019.
The outcome of the survey will be used to assess the levels of satisfaction over the services offered by relevant government institutions to enable victims to integrate into their families and society.
The department said that it is important for individuals aged 18 years and older to participate in the survey, which will help it determine the extent of the problem, understand its root causes and come up with solutions and appropriate interventions.
His Excellency Engineer Hamad Ali Al Dhaheri, Under secretary of DCD, said: “The launch of the Domestic Violence Survey is in line with the department’s vision to develop a clear strategy to protect families from social challenges and enhance family cohesion. The outcomes of the study will contribute to activating the prevention and early intervention system in relation to domestic violence in the emirate.”
H.E. Eng. Al Dhaheri reaffirmed DCD’s commitment to identifying social priorities in Abu Dhabi through such surveys and enhancing cooperation between the department and all relevant parties to develop initiatives to strengthen family bonds.
Her Excellency Sarah Ibrahim Shohail, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Centre for Sheltering and Humanitarian Care (Ewa’a), said: “The survey is a joint effort by DCD and Ewa’a to improve the quality of services provided by the centre, and to draw up a vision to build a cohesive community based on mutual love and respect.”
H.E. Shohail added that the questionnaire will help identify mechanisms to prevent domestic violence and strengthen family bonds that are essential to build a happy and cohesive society. It will also contribute to developing awareness campaigns to inculcate positive behaviours among individuals.
Results of such surveys and research help DCD, its strategic partners and other relevant entities to develop recommendations and initiatives on social development pursued by the government of Abu Dhabi.
The Department reaffirmed that all submitted data shall remain confidential and only be used for research purposes and assist in arriving at the best indicators that will help improve the whole society’s quality of life.
The Department also urges everyone to participate in the survey available at the following link: https://addcd.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eY7qkR0vvWa4fCC