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The Forum Stresses the Importance of Investing the Energies of People with Disabilities

The Minister of Labour and Social Development, Jameel bin Mohammed Ali Humaidan affirmed the ministry’s interest in developing volunteer work in Bahrain, founding the Development of Voluntary Work Centre, which aims to launch voluntary initiatives in coordination with civil society organisations and specialised bodies to serve the community in various fields to motivate members of society, particularly youth, to make use of their energies and talents and dedicate their free time to suitable volunteer work.

This came during the closing ceremony of the 3rd Bahrain International Volunteer Forum organised by Bahrain Voluntary Work Society under the slogan: "Towards an active partnership between volunteers and persons with disabilities" in cooperation with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNDP) in the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Arab and African Youth Council (AAYC), the day before yesterday at the Isa Cultural Centre, in the presence of a number of civil society organisations and Arab delegations participating in the forum.

The Minister of Labour and Social Development stated that the Kingdom of Bahrain is witnessing advancement in the work of civil society organisations, which is given the attention of the government. He affirmed that the Ministry of Labour and Social Development is keen to provide all appropriate means and support for the development of voluntary work, helping it play its role to the fullest extent.

He praised the efforts of the Bahrain Voluntary Work Society and its various initiatives, noting the subject of the 3rd Bahrain International Volunteer Forum, which was consciously selected for the role played by volunteerism in many areas, especially with persons with disabilities, seeking to activate their role as a productive and integral component in community development. At the same time he stressed the importance of creating new types of civil work based on education and rehabilitation, within the framework of an effective strategy for the interaction between volunteers and disabled individuals, in order to improve the services provided by all parties.

For his part, the Honorary President of the Bahrain Voluntary Work Society, Mr. Khalid Bin Rashid Al Zayani, delivered a speech in which he stressed the importance of voluntary work in the development and growth of nations, stemming from a nationalistic sense that aims to serve society devotedly with love. He noted the pioneering initiatives launched by voluntary groups, which ought to be supported and embraced.

Meanwhile, the Secretary General of AAYC, Dr Awad Hassan praised the positive atmosphere in the Kingdom of Bahrain, emphasising the importance of transferring and exchanging experiences in the field of volunteerism between Bahrain and all countries which are members of AAYC.

The forum included training workshops and presentation of various working papers on achieving quality in the various programs of civil societies, especially those pertinent to the development of volunteerism in communities, given its role in supporting the goals of sustainable development.

The forum put forward important recommendations such as the need to increase coordination between voluntary associations and centres and organisations supporting persons with disabilities, while investing their energies and successful experiences in supporting charitable and humanitarian voluntary work. In addition to the importance of developing integrated volunteer programs implemented by persons with disabilities alongside voluntary work teams, in light of developing areas of cooperation between the public and private sectors and civil society in organising forums relevant to persons with disabilities. The recommendations of the forum also stressed the importance of raising awareness campaigns, especially in public places, in dealing with people with disabilities, especially those with autism, as well as disseminating successful experiences in the field of volunteer work for people with disabilities.

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