An inspiring story.
I consider myself lucky to have visited the final day of the Abilities ME Exhibition and Conference, the first of its kind that offers support for the provision of education and awareness to people with special needs and disabilities. There were many interesting presentations and stalls. However, one young and vibrant person offering visitors an explanation about her stall caught my attention. She was Nilofar Saleem. A few years ago, I had met her when she was a student at Manzil, a centre for special needs in Sharjah. Then I met her at the same centre, when she became a staff member. Now, four years later, I was meeting her at this exhibition. I noticed several changes in her attitude. She was more confident and put on her trademark smile when I approached her. She is a person with global development delay (a person diagnosed with having a lower intellectual functioning than what is perceived as normal). Once she recognised me, she told me all about her new job and life. She now works with one of the leading banks in the UAE that has supported her to develop into a self sufficient young individual. It is an inspiring example of how an institution can groom an individual to become a breadwinner for a family and look ahead in life. How many organisations would be willing to support individuals like Saleem to find a firm footing in life?
From Mr Ramesh Menon