MA’AN LAUNCHES FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND VIRTUAL PROGRAMME TO ENGAGE PEOPLE ACROSS ABU DHABI IN FOUR KEY AREAS OF INTEREST
As part of the Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an’s commitment to increasing community engagement, the organisation has announced the launch of the ‘Let’s Connect’ programme; a 10-week virtual initiative with free participation for communities across Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE.
Let’s Connect was developed to address the reduced public engagement opportunities amongst the most vulnerable areas of society during the COVID-19 pandemic. The programme, will provide opportunities for engagement and social inclusion by bringing together members of the community through four categories of interest and passion with the highest level of demand: health & wellness; business & coaching; community; and arts & culture.
Through focusing on the four categories outlined, Ma’an aims to support people in developing a healthy lifestyle; building innovative mindsets and increasing self-confidence; collaborating and instigating dialogue around the arts & culture industry; and enhancing cohesion by raising awareness of community issues such as sustainability and inclusion.
The programme includes fun, easy human-centric online activities and talks that are curated for all members of society, regardless of age, gender, nationality, background, and ability, to increase social inclusion and belonging among Abu Dhabi residents.
It is a first-of-its-kind virtual programme in Abu Dhabi, with no single platform having been developed to support multiple categories of interest. Each of the four categories of interest will be represented and led by a community ambassador. The ambassadors will host bi-weekly online initiatives that cover different areas within their category and each initiative will be live for the community to participate in for 10 days.
Launched with the aim of increasing social cohesion and inclusion across the Emirate during times of reduced physical human interactions, the virtual programme is driven by online community engagement, social responsibility, and public volunteering with dedicated ambassadors. The Ambassadors have been selected based on their expertise within their categories, previous contribution to the community, social media and community influence, and experience within Abu Dhabi. The ambassadors include:
- Emirati Triathlete, Faris Al-Zaabi – Health & Wellness
- High Performance Master Coach, Arsalan Al-Hashmi – Business & Coaching
- Community Development Specialist, Tanya Awad – Community
- Figure Skater and Beauty Blogger, Shayma Sabry – Arts & Culture
Select initiatives will be co-hosted with other influential individuals, including the younger generation, people of determination, seniors and more, showcasing collaboration and knowledge sharing amongst people from all walks of life.
H.E. Salama Al Ameemi, Director General of Ma’an, said: “We are incredibly proud to be launching Let’s Connect in Abu Dhabi. The programme has been carefully curated with all of society in mind. For over ayear, life has been very different to how we previously knew it, our hope is that through Let’s Connect we will bridge the gap of physical human interaction. Our goal is to also create a lasting positive impact on the overall physical and mental wellbeing of our communities.”
Let’s Connect is supported by Initiative Partner, Abu Dhabi Municipality and Programme Sponsor Nirvana Travel & Tourism, with the tour operator lending their expertise to the programme including their extensive knowledge of connecting different cultures and communities throughout the capital city. The programme is being operated for Cycle 1 in partnership with Flash Entertainment.
Speaking of the launch of Let’s Connect, Nirvana Travel & Tourism’s CEO Alaa Al Ali, commented: “The Let’s Connect programme shares the same mission as Nirvana, which is to ensure care and happiness. Abu Dhabi is our home, and by becoming a Sponsor of Let’s Connect we aim to bring diverse communities together and make a real change. It is very exciting to be part of this programme.”
Nirvana’s partnership will provide prizes for each of the 20 initiatives, five under each category, including hotel vouchers and access to some of UAE’s world-renowned theme parks and experiences.
John Lickrish, CEO Flash Entertainment, commented on their Supporting Partnership of Let’s Connect “Flash Entertainment have worked in the community for over 12 years, providing unmissable experiences to millions of fans through a range of community, culture, sport and entertainment events. We have worked with Ma’an very closely in developing the Let’s Connect programme to ensure it provides in-demand, high quality content to engage and inspire the community of Abu Dhabi.”
The programme was brought to life with work from Ernst & Young who carried out substantial research into life in Abu Dhabi for communities and what would be engaging for residents to participate in online.
The research and insights for Let’s Connect allowed for Ma’an to devise the initiative which falls under the commitment to encourage community engagement. Ma’an’s Community Engagement Programme provides individuals, government entities, companies and not-for-profit associations, with strategic direction on how people can contribute to social causes.
Ma’an creates solutions for social contribution by partnering with third sector entities to address societal issues and increase engagement.
In addition to that, the programme welcomes the support of government and private entities, schools and universities to contribute and take part in the initiatives to connect, educate and grow our community.
The programme is easily accessible on its official social media pages @letsconnectAD on Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok and YouTube and website www.letsconnect.ae where participants can sign up to be part of the programme, Thursday 1 April, 2021.