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Ministry launches Harmony initiative
BY SALMA ALALEM July 16, 2018
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DUBAI: The Ministry of Community Development (MOCD) launched the Taalouf (Harmony) initiative, a family counselling service provided through a variety of private channels that guarantee confidentiality in order to resolve family disputes, offer guidance to married couples, and ensure family cohesion.

The initiative launch came through a press conference held at the headquarters of MOCD in Dubai, on July 15, where Sana Mohammed Suhail, Undersecretary of MOCD, said that the initiative, adopted during the annual meeting of the Government of the UAE in 2018, aligns with the objectives of the National Agenda of the UAE Vision 2021 and the National Family Policy. 

She praised the active role local government entities have played in the launch of Taalouf. Partners of the programme include: Islamic Affairs & Charitable Activities Department in Dubai, the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments in Ajman, the Ministry of Interior Social Support Center in Umm al-Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah Courts, and Dubai Foundation for Women and Children. The Ministry also invited experienced volunteers over the age of 50, registered at the UAE Volunteers platform, to support the initiative.

Suhail added that the service aims to help people achieve harmony in individual and family life, strengthen emotional bonds within the family, reduce divorce rate in the country, prevent problems occurring in dysfunctional families, and address tension and alienation between spouses. The initiative seeks to reach compromises that satisfy both parties, and educate parents on raising children in a safe and secure family environment.

Waheeda Hassan, Director of the Family Development Department at MOCD, said that family guidance is an integral part of building stable UAE families, and a holistic process that requires the contribution of multiple entities. Therefore, the Ministry has partnered with several relevant bodies to launch the Taalouf programme. She explained that family counselling underpins all aspects of MOCD’s mission, as a happy family is the cornerstone of a prosperous society.

Free phone line

The Taalouf family counselling channels include a free phone line – 800623 – that is open for enquiries from Sunday to Thursday from 8am to 2:30pm. The line is staffed by over than 31 specialised consultants that propose solutions to family issues and advise callers how to maintain positive relations within the family. The service is available to all members of the public without distinction.

One-on-one sessions

Furthermore, MOCD has set up dedicated spaces at its social development centres to provide one-on-one sessions with family counsellors. Ideal for people who wish to discuss their problems face to face in a private setting, the service is already running on select days of the week across seven centres in Dubai, Ajman, Umm al-Quwain, Ras al-Khaimah, Fujairah, and Khor Fakkan.

Website

The Ministry has also created a page on its website www.mocd.gov.ae that responds to family counselling queries within one business day.
 

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