Contributing to community wellbeing is integral to aluminium giant’s corporate DNA
United Arab Emirates: Emirates Global Aluminium (“EGA”) is the Silver Sponsor of the 9th Annual Autism Week taking place from 19 to 27 April 2016 in Abu Dhabi. The event, which is organised by Emirates Autism Centre coincident with the global Autism Month awareness campaign, is held under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan (UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development). EGA is passionate about supporting the wellbeing of the communities wherever it operates, with special needs being a particular focus, and previously sponsored the Annual Autism Week each year from 2011 to 2014.
With a world prevalence of 1 in every 45 individuals, autism is more common than paediatric cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined, and is the fastest-rising developmental disorder. Autism education, unlike other developmental disorders in the special needs category, is unique, because it requires highly specialised one-on-one training, which is very costly to deliver. Accordingly EGA is this year also sponsoring the costs of one therapist for Autism Trust Foundation to the value of AED 96,000.
Commenting on the sponsorship, Abdulla Kalban (MD & CEO) said, “EGA is once again delighted to partner with Emirates Autism Centre in support of the Annual Autism Week, which aims to raise awareness about autism and encourage support for the cause from corporations across the country. We are very aware of just how important it is for private special needs centres to receive financial support from the business community in order for them to carry out their mission to integrate children with autism into mainstream society; and are therefore pleased to also support Autism Trust Foundation.”
EGA has a long history of involvement with centres in the UAE that specialise in autism therapies. EGA Jebel Ali Operations, for example, has provided extensive support to Dubai Autism Centre since 2009 – ranging from fundraising and driving autism awareness, through supporting advocacy and building capacity, to providing building materials for the centre’s new building. EGA Al Taweelah Operations has collaborated with Emirates Autism Centre since 2010, with key initiatives including building a full-equipped sensory room at the centre where special lighting, music, and objects are used therapeutically for children with autism. The sensory room is also used by other special needs centres in Abu Dhabi. In 2015, EGA hosted an internal autism awareness campaign in cooperation with both Emirates Autism Centre and Dubai Autism Centre.