Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Higher Committee for the Protection of the Rights of People of Determination in Dubai, WeWalk 2019, an annual charity walkathon organised by TECOM Group on Friday (8 March) registered a turnout of around 1,000 participants and 150 volunteers in support of autism.
TECOM Group aims to raise awareness and promote the integration of people of determination into society, in line with the UAE’s objectives of the Year of Tolerance. All proceeds from the initiative this year will go to Dubai Autism Centre, the non-profit organisation that serves children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in the UAE.
Held at Dubai Design District (d3), one of TECOM Group’s business communities, WeWalk 2019 drew the participation of the community including adults and children with autism, their friends and families, as well as senior officials and representatives of various government and non-governmental organisations, educators and athletes.
On the sidelines of the two-kilometre walkathon, the agenda featured a line-up of fun-filled family activities, such as a raffle draw with an opportunity to win valuable prizes, a talent show by children from Emirates Autism Society (EAS), a sign language performance by the students of Pomegranate Institute and a group drumming session by EAS’s own band, Kharsha Group.
Speaking on the occasion, Muna Al Muhairbi, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at TECOM Group, said: “Inspired by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, TECOM Group is committed to contributing to shaping an inclusive society. Through WeWalk, we seek to empower people of determination, including adults and children with autism. We thank the event’s partners and hope that their invaluable contributions will inspire other businesses to give back to the community through similar initiatives.”
Reem Al Hajri, Project Manager at Emirates Autism Society and mother of one of the participants with autism, said she felt fortunate to participate in an initiative that brought the community together to support the different needs of individuals with autism.
Commending TECOM Group for its role in educating the public about autism, Mona Ibrahim, Occupational Therapy Manager at Dubai Autism Center said: “Part of Dubai Autism Center’s mission is to enhance awareness, sensitivity and a sense of responsibility towards individuals with ASD among the community. On behalf of the Center, I extend our heartfelt gratitude to every participant and volunteer who turned up to join the WeWalk 2019 edition in support of our cause. The initiative has provided a real opportunity to make a difference in the lives of individuals with autism and to build an inclusive society.”
WeWalk 2019 was organised with the support of its Golden Partners including Skechers, ADNIC and Union COOP, and Emerald Partners - Head Start Speech Therapy, Arabian Radio Network, Mother, Baby and Child (CPI Media Group), Spacetoon, UAE Exchange, Emirates Airlines and Emirates Autism Society.