Qatar Foundation agreement helps to build confidence among the center’s students
Trainees from Shafallah Centre for Children with disabilities are demonstrating their creativity through Qatar Foundation’s Education City Gift Shop, where products that they have designed – such as cups, water bottles, and bags – are available to purchase.
“I don’t think there is anything more fulfilling than enhancing the self-confidence and self-esteem of our trainees”
“I don’t think there is anything more fulfilling than enhancing the self-confidence and self-esteem of our trainees through developing skills in order to be productive in society,” says Modi Alhetmi, Head of Operational Workshop Unit at Shafallah.
“The best thing that we can offer our members is the chance to impact others through their artwork. I’ve seen the reactions of our trainees – first, during their training, and then when monitoring visitors' interactions with their products – and how they explained the design process with pride and enthusiasm.”
Ahead of the production phase, Alhetmi explained, the trainees attended a number of workshops where they received training on how to safely operate printing devices. And once the two overarching topics – heritage and the local environment – were carefully selected, under the guidance of the Education City Gift Shop, trainees were given the freedom to express their ideas through drawing and coloring, with Shafallah providing all the necessary tools and materials.
According to Alhetmi, the results were “wonderful”, as she says: “The end product was a delightful collection of art pieces that are displayed at the Education City Gift Shop.
“Some students faced certain challenges during the product creation process – especially with using the printing machines – so we were on-hand to provide the necessary support. But often they were able to overcome challenges on their own, and were astonished when they saw results of their own work, which encouraged a sense of achievement
"Our trainees are always asking us when they can visit the store, but we have to wait for the right time, so as to reduce the risk of infection from COVID-19 – especially since many of them have chronic diseases.”
Shafallah seeks to develop a range of different capacities and capabilities, and the students are given the opportunity to explore artistic, musical or sporting pursuits through local and international partnerships.
“After graduation, appropriate training is provided in the event that a suitable job is available to the trainee”
Shafallah works with its trainees until the age of 21, when they graduate, but the support does not end there. “After graduation, appropriate training is provided in the event that a suitable job is available to the trainee,” says Alhetmi. “The follow-up period lasts for six months; additionally, we provide continuous support to parents and families.
“We are grateful to Qatar Foundation for its support for the center, and for highlighting our students’ talents in the wider community. We hope for further collaborations in the future, to help educate society about the rights of this group and highlight their capabilities.”