The Sharjah Child Friendly Office (SCFO), an affiliate of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah, has partnered with Unicef to distribute the ‘Adolescent Kit for Expression and Innovation’, which was developed by Unicef, to all child and youth-related organisations and centres in Sharjah. The move coincides with the activities of ‘UAE Innovates 2021’ that take place between Feb.21 and Feb.27 across the country. TheAdolescent Kitwas developed by Unicef in 2017 and updated in 2020 to reflect the challenges posed by the spread of COVID-19 The kit comprises guidance material, tools, activities and supplies to be used under the supervision of parents or child and youth experts, facilitators, and coordinators. It also comes with a a quick guide for those working with adolescents, an activity box, and offers awareness material on how to cope with the COVID-I9 pandemic. The adolescent kit helps the target group explore the arts through activities that focus on drawing and painting, singing and dancing, playing musical instruments, and creating stories, poems and plays. The kit also provides them with opportunities to innovate, experiment, solve problems and explore new ideas, including developing solutions to local and global challenges. Dr Hessa Al Ghazal, Executive Director of SCFO, said “Our collaboration with Unicef to distribute the kits across the emirate’s child and youth organisations is in line with the directives and efforts of Her Highness Sheikha Jawa her Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, to empower younger generations and help them advance their capa bilities. Throug h the kit, we provide support to our children to enable them to cope with their situation and create positive and tangible change in their lives. Additionally, the kit will help elevate child and youth friendly standards across the emirate’s institutions.” Al Ghazal stressed that such activities build on Sharjah’s ongoing efforts to safeguard the rights of children and youth and enhance their well-being. She said “We focus on training, workshops and activities that enable young people to face challenges, express themselves, and voice their needs and concerns regarding their community and city, which is one of the main pillars of a child friendly city. It is also an essential part of our mandate to support children’s institutions in the emirate by bringing them global best practices and implementing the latest findings on children’s development and wellbeing.” Unicef’s Adoloscent Kit responds to adolescents’ needs, helping them develop 10 key competencies essential for their well-being and development and inspiring them to lead change in their communities. The competencies include communication and expression, identity and self-esteem, leadership and influence, problem-solving and managing conflict, coping with stress and managing emotions, cooperation and teamwork, in addition to empathy and respect, hope for the future and goal setting, critical thinking and decision making, creativity and innovation. The Adolescent Kit includes digital versions of all the guidance material, tools and activities, and templates and video instructions, available for download at SCFO will also distribute a ‘Programme Coordinators’ Guide’ to aid programme managers, officers, specialists, and staff design, set up or manage initiatives using the activities, tools and supplies in the kit. The Sharjah Child Friendly Office aims to protect and elevate the rights and wellbeing of children of all ages in Sharjah. It creates relevant strategies and plans and implements them in cooperation with relevant institutions and government authorities. The office is currently tasked with overseeing the continuation and implementation of the Sharjah Baby and Family Friendly Project (targeting families and children of all ages), and the Sharjah Child Friendly City Project (targeting age group 0-18).

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