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Rotaract Alexandria Cosmopolitan Celebrates World Down Syndrome Day in the AASTMT

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Coverage: Mahmoud Mansi

Photography: Hadeer El Masry

“We let them work into teams, and we even have an eye on the advanced learners and use them as mentors for the others. This way we also develop their leadership skills.”

Mirna Atteya – President of Rotaract Alexandria Cosmopolitan

World Down Syndrome Day – an event that has been organized in Alexandria, Egypt since 2009 – is not just a day in a year, it’s not just an annual event where awareness is increased and children having fun, but according to Rotaract Alexandria Cosmopolitan it became a monthly cause. That’s what Hassan Ragab – Rotaract Club Treasurer & Head of HRIS Department at the AASTMT – elaborated. He said, “After the event – as we have been doing for the last three years – we follow up with the children through their NGOs. Rotaract gets involved and invited by any event initiated by the NGOs. As for this year we initiated an action plan of making weekly visits to the NGOs since December 2015. We provide them with workshops to keep their minds alert and make sure they didn’t lose their talent. Today we have an exhibition now with the paintings that were produced in these workshops.”

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The event has been organized in the academy for several years, and this started when one of the Ex-Presidents Mona Arslan made the deal with the Academy. Currently the AASTMT is even more aware of social responsibility thus it encourages this event to a great extent, and the green environment in the academy is very beneficial for the attendees.

Mirna Atteya – President of Rotaract Alexandria Cosmopolitan – explains the idea behind the event and the impact on the society, “The event is divided into two parts. The first one focuses on creating games to the participants. These games not only focus on developing their talents and expanding their creativity, but it teaches them teamwork. We let them work into teams, and we even have an eye on the advanced learners and use them as mentors for the others. This way we also develop their leadership skills. Another important aspect is we help them mingle with the society, on the other hand the volunteers learn how to deal with people having Down syndrome. The second half of the day is dedicated to the parents. Before the event we create a survey and understand what exactly are the points of weaknesses and what kind of skills and knowledge do parents need to understand more about. On that day we customize the material to best fit the parents’ needs.”

From an HR perspective Hassan Ragab explains further, “HR considers people as an asset or an intellectual capital for any organization. Being there for these very special people will help us as a society to identify a new asset that is not fully utilized yet. We give them the chance to discover and function their gifts. We also focus on the parents, because they are the ones who spend the whole day with, therefore we want the parents to fully understand and witness the gifts of their children so they can continuously develop them.”

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Photography: El-Harmel Photography ~ Model: Simona Joseph

The question that concerns us as HR Revolution is the existence of people with Down syndrome in the working environment. Hassan goes on, “I don’t think the employment rate among the Down syndrome community in Egypt is high at all, but I believe some companies do hire them in a casual way. From my observation and experience the Down syndrome are people with extreme creativity. They are very talented in coloring and anything that has to do with handcrafts. If organizations are able to find the smart approach to subject the unique talents of Down syndrome to their needs, these organizations will gain a lot of extra benefits.”

The slogan this year is: One Extra Chromosome, More Superpowers. Hassan explains, “These children – biologically wise – are actually created with an extra chromosome, while the average human being has 20 chromosomes.”

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One of the main partners of this event is the renowned photography club: View Finders. The participation of the club’s members was not about documenting the day. They had another concern, another perspective, as Mohamed Rashad stated, “People in general care so much about seeing their own pictures. Children having Down syndrome love seeing their pictures that’s why we work on printing them on the same day of the event. Having their picture as a memorial means much more than only looking at their own image, it reminds and connects them with the victories they have achieved and the activities they have done.”

It’s clear that photography also works as a therapist to many people as Mohamed explains further, “Some of our guests refuse to take a picture. Maybe they are shy or they fear exposure. We talk to them. We show them pictures of their colleagues to encourage them. I discovered that photography deals with many psychological issues and brings a lot of positive energy to them.”

The day has been a great success to everyone.

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FACEBOOK:

https://www.facebook.com/AlexandriaCosmopolitanRAC

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HR Revolution & Rotaract Alexandria Cosmopolitan / Photography: Ahmed Dowidar

Articles

Wellbeing @ Work Summit Middle East 2021 – where balance, resilience and authenticity break the Mental Health Stigma

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Written by: Cinzia Nitti

Globally, 2020 has been a year like no other. Coronavirus pandemic caused a massive business disruption; transformation has been key in supporting employees and catalyzing workplace changes. There was a rush to adapt and reinvent Business Models. Organizations had to rethink and reconsider how they deliver services and strengthen their Organizations through a forward-thinking Digital strategy. To be more agile and responsive in such uncertain times, we need to respond to challenges and adapt quickly to new scenarios by moving from rigid hierarchies to leaner and more flexible structures.

But what about Mental Health at Work, and why is it essential?

What’s the Office of the Future?

Within the Wellbeing @ Work Summit Middle East 2021, HR Leaders tried to normalize the conversation about Mental Health by putting the topic first, enabling self-care and professional support, raising awareness, and building knowledge around its related issues. Nowadays, personal and work life are more intertwined than ever, so it becomes vital to create balance: the more employees feel free to talk about Mental Health, the more they can prevent struggle and breakout at the Workplace. HR leaders play a crucial role in making an IMPACT by pushing new solutions, promoting work-life balance, redesign workloads, and supporting their Teams.

In this general frame, Irada Aghamaliyeva (MENA Diversity, Inclusiveness & Wellbeing Leader at EY) affirmed: “Workplaces that are inclusive foster enhanced employee wellbeing; employees with high levels of wellbeing are more inclusive”. How can Organizations increase employees’ resilience and embed sustainable Leadership behaviors in the post-covid reality?

Dr. Irada Aghamaliyeva introduced the Mindfulness practice in the Workplace and highlighted its benefits on a large scale: improved wellbeing and resilience on a physical level; positive emotions, self-regulation, empathy and awareness of social dynamics; learning and innovation thanks to the implementation of flexible thinking, intuition and problem-solving processes. So breaking the stigma is possible, starting from personal wellbeing to sustain positive energy and fuel resilience.

About the Power of Empathetic and Authentic Leadership, Dr. Rima Ghose Chowdhury (EVP & Chief Human Resources Officers at Datamatics Global Services) stresses the importance of Leadership roles today. The virtual environment employees are working in, makes them more vulnerable due to a lack of balance between emotional and authenticity traits. Authenticity is the primary factor in effective leadership, regardless of the leadership style. Putting employees first as a strategic priority and hearing their voices to guide strategy; embracing agility to work more effectively in tumultuous time; including a multigenerational work-force: these are the key concepts within Dr. Rima’s motto “Empowering is to enable”. Through motivation and filling emotional support needs, the Empowering Teams Process leads to employees’ safety, esteem, and self-actualization. 

The Wellbeing @ Work Summit delivers strategic direction, advice and inspiration from employers and experts from across the world to help you create a more compassionate corporate culture that delivers results. To know more about the FOW Future of Work Insights platform around the world, click here: https://fowinsights.com/

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The Wellbeing @ Work virtual Summit Middle East returns for its 5th annual event on 22-24 February 2021

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The summit provides an innovative and experiential virtual learning opportunity for our audience of CEOs, benefit and reward business leaders and senior HR professionals. The information and knowledge gained from attending this event allow the opportunity to make strategic wellbeing and mental health decisions within an organization, supporting our mission to create more flourishing and thriving workplaces. Never before has the mental health and wellbeing of your employees been so important. The Wellbeing @ Work Summit includes keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops, and fireside chats alongside unrivaled networking with leaders across the Middle East using our AI-enabled matchmaking platform. This is far more than a webinar! An engaging 3-day event providing you invaluable insight and tools to create thriving workplaces.

Key Reasons to Attend:

  • An engaging AI-enabled matchmaking platform to make invaluable connections & host virtual meetings up to 2 weeks before the three-day festival
  • Learn how multinational organizations are creating workplaces where employees thrive in the new world
  • Campfire panel discussions informing workplace change & mental health solutions
  • Middle East-based employer case studies providing the secrets to employee wellbeing success
  • International experts bringing best-practice from across the globe
  • Invaluable networking with business leaders from across the Middle East

The Wellbeing @ Work Summit delivers strategic direction, advice and inspiration from employers and experts from across the world to help you create a more compassionate corporate culture that delivers results. The design and implementation of a holistic wellbeing and mental health programme that delivers healthy outcomes and a more productive organization is paramount right now. 

In addition, the results of the extensive Middle East region-wide survey on wellbeing and mental fitness in organizations across the region made in partnership with Cognomie will be presented during the event.

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DECODING FUTURE HR: Global 24 hour virtual event | 19 and 20 January 2021

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DECODING FUTURE HR: Today’s challenges are tomorrow’s trends and opportunities

Global 24 hour virtual event | 19 and 20 January 2021

www.decodinghrevent.com

The world in 2020 has changed to a ‘new normality’ but what’s that ‘new normality’ everybody talks about? Is it here to stay? How is it affecting us in our daily lives in the different versions of ourselves? As a customer, an entrepreneur, a parent, a friend…a worker…

Our job is a key part of our lives and we are indeed living through a fundamental transformation in the way we work. Automation and ‘thinking machines’ are replacing human tasks and jobs, and changing the skills that organisations are looking for in their people. These momentous changes raise huge organisational, talent and other HR challenges. It has become clear that few organisations are likely to revert to pre-pandemic practices even after a vaccine is found.

Decoding Future HR 2021 is bringing you the ideology of how today’s challenges are becoming tomorrow’s trends and opportunities resulting in HR excellence.

Why you should attend:

  • Learn about the trends and best practices shaping future HR
  • Get valuable insights from expert speakers
  • Share ideas and research to help your organisation reach its goals
  • Understand what do employees want in ‘New Normal’
  • Develop new vision for HRBP and Centre of Expertise
  • Identify, integrate and understand stakeholders to create an intentional employee experience
  • Approaches and elements to leadership development.

Some of our confirmed speakers:

  • Tshepo Yvonne Mosadi , Human Resources Director, The HEINEKEN Company
  • Sarah Tabet, Global HR Director/ D&I Leader | Author for “Inclusion Starts with U”, Schneider Electric
  • Wadah Al Turki, Country Talent Manager KSA and Bahrain, IKEA
  • Lesha Chakraborti, Head of HR – EMEA, Travelex
  • Shaban Butt, Director HR & Administration, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Sajjad Parmar, Head of Rewards – APAC, eBay
  • Katey Howard, VP, Talent Management AMESA, Pepsico
  • Chen Fong Tuan, HR & General Affairs Director, Samsung Electronics
  • Prerna Ajmera, Senior Director, HR Experiences and Solutions, Microsoft
  • Václav Koranda, Vice President Human Resources / Member of the Board of Directors, T-System
  • Amy MacGregor, VP Employee Experience, Global HR, Manulife
  • Adwait Kashalkar, People Analytics and Programme Management Leader, APAC, Mastercard

Click here to view all speakers: www.decodinghrevent.com/speakers

At Wisdom we remain positive that ‘normality’ will soon return and that we will be able to physically meet together once again as speakers, delegates and sponsors at our beautiful venues around the world. But meanwhile, life continues and we need to keep in touch and learn from each other. This 24-hour virtual event will be of great benefit and value to your businesses and its continued development during these challenging times. While this virtual event comes at a lesser cost, it provides for now a wider reach into an international audience, with flexibility of access to content as well as allowing you to have the same opportunity as at a face-to-face session for one-to-one business meetings. We look forward to welcoming you in January.

Date and time: 19-20 January 2021Where: Virtual engaging platform
  Further information and bookings: www.decodinghrevent.com        Contact:
marketing@wisdom.events   #WSDM_BI
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