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Happiness Minister volunteers first for Al Jalila Heroes
By a Staff Reporter August 20, 2017
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DUBAI: Al Jalila Children’s, the first dedicated children’s hospital in the UAE, launched its own volunteering programme Abtaal Al Jalila (Al Jalila Heroes) on Aug.17, with Ohood Bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Happiness, signing up as the first volunteer of the initiative.

Abtaal Al Jalila was initiated by the hospital in line with the Year of Giving and is aimed at involving the wider community in contributing to children’s health and happiness. The theme of superheroes was envisioned to highlight the fact that volunteers are true heroes for the time and effort they put in; further children can easily relate to the concept.

Ohood Bint Khalfan Al Roumi was received by Dr Mohamed Al Awadhi, COO of Al Jalila Children’s and the senior management of the hospital, and was provided a tour of the hospital’s main departments. She was then introduced to the ‘Abtaal Al Jalila’ programme and registered online as the first volunteer.

Her first volunteering mission was to read out to a group of children from the hospital a motivational book titled Two Great Leaders authored by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, which narrates the lives of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the late Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum.        

Ohood Al Roumi stressed the importance of spreading the spirit and culture of volunteering across the community, in addition to developing strong social partnerships aimed at improving the quality of life, leading to a happier community overall. 

Al Roumi also lauded Al Jalila Children’s efforts to launch ‘Abtaal Al Jalila’ as an innovative volunteering programme that will help spread joy and happiness among children while spreading awareness on the importance of such initiatives that ease children’s suffering and stressful medical conditions. 

Dr Mohamed Al Awadhi said: “We are delighted that Ohood Al Roumi has launched Abtaal Al Jalila and also signed up as its first volunteer. Abtaal Al Jalila is a pioneering programme for volunteering in this region. The individuals who sign up are not just given tasks but an opportunity to positively and considerably impact the lives of children. The efforts of every volunteer go into making the UAE a happier place and are a celebration of the Year of Giving.”

“As the first paediatric hospital in the UAE, Al Jalila Children’s has successfully integrated technology and medical expertise to serve as a world-class facility. We also believe that initiatives that involve people and the community will be a differentiating factor and will contribute significantly in positioning Al Jalila Children’s as one among the top children’s hospitals globally,” added Dr Mohamed.   

Volunteers who register and are accepted will go through introductory orientations. In the first phase, the volunteers will greet patients and their families at the hospital and assist in general enquiries. The areas of work will expand as the programme progresses, according to Dr Mohamed. Volunteers will also have the opportunity to work in parallel with some of the best paediatric medical staff in the UAE. Residents who would like to be part of Abtaal Al Jalila can register online at “”

Every application is screened and applicants go through an interview process before being accepted as an Abtaal Al Jalila volunteer. On being accepted, every participant is given a welcome pack that includes a superhero cape and costume, and an initiation scroll. Volunteers can also choose to work flexible hours with the minimum being two hours a week. The programme is now open to UAE residents, 16 years old and above.

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