VOFG authors spread smiles at Al Jalila Children's Speciality Hospital

VOFG authors spread smiles at Al Jalila Children's Speciality Hospital

13.06.24 03:38 PM By Voices of Future Generations

Reading holds a certain magic that transports us to distant lands, introduces us to fascinating characters, and immerses us in diverse cultures—all from the comfort of our favourite chair. Words possess an incredible power: they can heal, inspire, and uplift. With this understanding, on June 7, 2024, the young authors from Voices of Future Generations Middle East (VOFG) visited Al Jalila Children's Specialty Hospital. Their mission? To bring joy and light to the young patients there by sharing the enchantment of their stories.

By providing essential healthcare services, Al Jalila Speciality Children’s Hospital endeavours to create a healthier and more inclusive community for all children in Dubai – this is an ethos that resonates deeply with VOFG’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. 

As we gathered in the outpatient area of Al Jalila Hospital, the anticipation was palpable. The children, some accompanied by their parents, listened intently as we read aloud. Their eyes lit up with curiosity and wonder as the stories unfolded, taking them on journeys far beyond the hospital walls. We also had the privilege to visit the wards and read out to the young patients admitted there. 

Reflecting on the visit, Dr. Hamda Abulhoul, Consultant Paediatrician in Inborn Errors of Metabolism at Al Jalila Children’s Hospital shared, "Through the power of stories and the kindness of hearts, a world was created within the Amal clinic where every child, regardless of their circumstances, could find hope, joy, and healing. The inspirational young authors transported anxious children to familiar landscapes filled with heroes and heroines, making the experience profoundly positive and uplifting for all involved. Their stories, inspired by the UN Sustainable Development Goals, not only entertained but also educated and empowered young minds. Together, the healthcare volunteers and child authors built a future where compassionate care knows no bounds."

Through this memorable visit, the VOFG authors reaffirmed their dedication as SDG ambassadors by contributing to the following goals: 

Reading to sick children beautifully supports SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being. It provides emotional support and reduces stress, which can make a big difference in how they feel overall. Sharing stories offers comfort and a welcome distraction during their hospital stay.

When it comes to SDG 4: Quality Education, this activity is fantastic because it promotes literacy and a love for reading. Even if the kids are missing school because they're not well, reading keeps them engaged and intellectually stimulated.

This initiative also aligns with SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities by giving hospitalized children the chance to enjoy similar experiences and educational benefits as their healthy peers, preventing feelings of isolation and exclusion.

Lastly, the VoFG authors’ visit reiterates SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals by fostering the spirit of volunteerism and community service. The authors of Voices of Future Generations Middle East were not just there to read, but to share in a collective act of kindness and compassion. It reminded us that in giving our time and our stories, we receive so much in return – the joy of connection, the warmth of shared experiences, and the fulfillment of making a difference in someone's day.

Looking back, the day at Al Jalila Hospital reaffirmed our belief in the transformative power of literature. It's more than just an escape; it's a tool for empathy, understanding, and healing.

Author Bio:

Mir Faraz is a student at The Winchester School, Jebel Ali, and the 1st Place Winner of Round 4 of Voices of Future Generations Middle East. Mir fervently believes that words have the power to change the world, and aspires to become a world-renowned author and propagate the message of sustainability, coexistence, and peace.

Voices of Future Generations