ZHO in Brief
With the aim of aligning and consolidating the efforts made in the field of special needs care, and as per the directives of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan (may his soul rest in peace), H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President, issued, during his tenure as Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, the Law No. (2) dated April 19, 2009, establishing Zayed Higher Organization for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs (ZHO) in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, as an umbrella for all humanitarian bodies, social services, orphanages, special needs institutions and any future bodies established in Abu Dhabi for humanitarian goals.
ZHO enjoys full financial and administrative independence and is run by its Board of Directors of 7 to 11 members. ZHO performs its activities as per the plans and directives of its Board to achieve its goals. The Board takes all necessary actions and measures to ensure ZHO’s efficient functioning. All ZHO’s humanitarian institutions are contributing to achieving the noble goals, showing a keen interest in this segment of society.
With 12 centers for special needs and humanitarian care across Abu Dhabi, ZHO provides a range of integrated services that aim at rehabilitating disabled people for inclusion into the community. These services include training and education, vocational and therapeutic rehabilitation (assessment, early intervention, physiotherapy, functional therapy, speech therapy, and vocational training workshops), psychological care, family counseling, as well as supporting educational and sport activities.
ZHO’s Orphan Care Sector supervises Dar Zayed for Family Care, which became under the ZHO supervision by virtue of the Law No. (2) of 2004, dated April 19, 2004. H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, launched the new identity for Dar Zayed in a ceremony held in the summer of 2009 at the Emirates Palace Hotel.
Dar Zayed mission is to provide a safe and supportive educational environment for orphans, fostering positive behaviors as well as theoretical and practical skills that would develop balanced, grounded personalities capable of adapting to their own society and interacting with other cultures, with a strong sense of belonging to their homeland and culture.
How are services delivered to people with special needs?
Throughout its history, ZHO has made wide strides and considerable achievements, notably its expansion plans to accommodate disabled people all over the emirate of Abu Dhabi. All along, it was inspired by the directives of H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, on the need to widen the ZHO scope of service and create new sections and therapeutic units in all centers in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western Region.
Today, ZHO supervises 12 centers and sporting clubs for people of special needs under the umbrella of the Special Needs Sector. These are: Abu Dhabi Center, Abu Dhabi Autism Center, the Printing Press for the blind and visually challenged, Zayed Agricultural Center for Development and Rehabilitation, Al Ain Center and Al Koua Center. In the Western Region, there are Zayed City Center, Sila Center, Giyathi Center, Delma Center and two sporting clubs, namely Al Ain Club for the disabled and finally Abu Dhabi Special Needs Club.
Are all services provided by all centers?
All services are provided by most centers. However, service provision depends on the real need for a certain service. Abu Dhabi Center in Al Mufraq is one of the largest and most comprehensive centers, offering all services and accommodating more than 600 beneficiaries.