Jawaher Al Qasimi visits Kanaf and affirms that Sharjah serves as a nurturing environment for every child

Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA), reiterated Sharjah’s unwavering commitment to child safety and rights during her visit to Kanaf, the UAE’s foremost child protection centre.

Accompanied by Her Excellency Shamma bint Sohail Al Mazrui, Minister of Community Development, Her Highness underscored the depth of Sharjah’s approach to child safety, emphasising the integration of various entities, frameworks, programs, and initiatives aimed at shielding children from all forms of abuse. She highlighted the imperative for communities to adapt to evolving challenges, particularly in safeguarding children, as they play a pivotal role in shaping the future of nations.

The visit to Kanaf, the first-of-its-kind child protection centre in the UAE and the region, established under the directives of Her Highness, marked a significant step towards reinforcing the safety net for vulnerable children. Kanaf, operational since 2023, offers specialised legal, psychological, and social support to young victims of physical and sexual abuse and their families, uniting the efforts of various legal, medical, and social entities under one roof.

Welcomed by Handai Al Yafei, Director of CSD and Head of Kanaf’s Higher Committee, along with Ameena Al Refaei, Director of Kanaf, Her Highness gained invaluable insights into the centre’s operations. Addressing the management and staff, Her Highness urged them to treat each child seeking assistance at Kanaf as part of their own family, stressing the centre’s pivotal role in nurturing a resilient and productive society.

Her Highness emphasised that Kanaf’s success hinges on raising awareness about its crucial role in nation-building. She stated, “The Sharjah community serves as a nurturing environment for every child, ensuring their protection and safety. We aim to transform Kanaf into a robust hub for collaboration and partnerships, expanding our reach to safeguard children wherever they may be.”

She continued, “Prevention, care, and safety are paramount in our approach. Together, leveraging our rich cultural heritage and noble values, we can achieve this objective.”

Acknowledging the evolving social landscape and the constant advancement of knowledge, Her Highness stressed the importance of staying abreast of global experiences to enhance expertise, particularly in the realm of child protection. “We aspire to lead in championing child protection and upbringing on ideal foundations,” she added.

During the tour of Kanaf’s departments, Her Highness gained insights into the comprehensive process for assisting children, from initial contact through to full recovery. Kanaf’s collaborative efforts with ten partnering entities, including the SCFA, the Federal Court of First Instance Sharjah, and the Sharjah Police General Directorate, among others, underscored a unified commitment to prioritise child safety and well-being.

A leading child safety model in the region, the centre includes a number of facilities contributed by the Sharjah City Municipality, supporting entity of Kanaf, and collaborates closely with 10 partnering entities. These include the SCD, the Federal Court of First Instance Sharjah, the Public Prosecution in Sharjah, the Sharjah Police General Directorate, the Emirates Health Services Establishment, the Emirates Schools Establishment, the Sharjah Social Services Department, the Sharjah Private Education Authority, the Forensic Medicine Department, and the SCFA’s Family Development Department Branches.