Media Centre

Press release

HE Mrs Hoda Kanoo and Mrs. Sarah Shuhail 5th Jun 2011

Abu Dhabi Festival donation to EWA’A underlines the Festival’s enduring commitment to local community initiatives

Celebrating the spirit of ‘Bilad Al Khayr’ – ‘The Land of Blessings’, Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation donated a share of the proceeds from the 2011 Abu Dhabi Festival box office sales to Ewa’a Shelter for Women and Children who are working tirelessly to address the impact of human trafficking. As part of the festival’s ongoing commitment and support of civil society organizations, Her Excellency Mrs. Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo, Founder and Artistic Director of Abu Dhabi Festival presented H.E Sarah Shuhail, Executive Director of Ewa’a Shelters for Women and Children with a cheque for AED 400,000 during a ceremony at the Armed Forces Officers Club.
The Ewa’a Shelters for Women and Children, one of the Festival’s nominated charities, is a non-profit organisation for women and children victims of human trafficking that operates under the umbrella of the UAE Red Crescent Authority. The organization seeks to address the impact of human trafficking and uphold the worldwide principle of human dignity. In only last year, more than a hundred victims of human trafficking passed through Ewa’a’s three shelters – in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Ras al Khaimah.
Commenting during the ceremony, H.E Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo said: “The Abu Dhabi Festival is a festival of the people of Abu Dhabi, for the people of Abu Dhabi and a central value of the festival is that it seeks to celebrate unity, respect and tolerance through a celebration of the arts across the seven Emirates. I passionately support the vital causes that EWA’A strives for. Abu Dhabi Festival has been a proud partner of this organization which strives to make a difference in our community. This humble donation today reflects the Festival’s commitment to enable community groups across the UAE and we hope that it can make a difference to the lives of some of these women and children.”
Extending Abu Dhabi Festival’s mission to demonstrate its commitment to the local community, the Abu Dhabi’s Ewa’a Shelter also hosted The Picasso Project as an extension of this year’s community outreach programme giving participants the opportunity to experiment with paints, charcoals, clays, oils, pastels and sand. The Picasso Project engaged children with a range of fun interactive exercises aimed at building the children’s confidence and creative skills. “My sincere appreciation is offered to Abu Dhabi Festival for their continued support of our shelters and initiatives. We can only meet our goals with donation and as such this contribution will help to transform the lives of our women and children. This donation reaffirms the long-standing relationship we have established with Abu Dhabi Festival, their continued support of our goals and deep understanding of our causes”, said Mrs. Sarah Shuhail, Executive Director of the Ewa’a Shelters praising the initiative,
”Ewa’a recognises the extent of violence against women globally and in our community and advocate for systemic changes that will promote gender-equity and help protect the rights of women and children. It is through the continued support, awareness, and involvement of the community and partners like Abu Dhabi Festival that lasting changes will occur and violence against women will be eliminated. We look forward to continuing our long-stand relationship with Abu Dhabi Festival”, added Shuhail.
Held under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces the Abu Dhabi Festival is organised by the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation. The Abu Dhabi festival 2011 ran from March 19 until April 4 and reached out to over 25,000 people across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and beyond.