The data of the Public Authority for Disability Affairs shows that the total number of mentally handicapped people in Kuwait is 10,280, the need for their support and assistance, and to listen to their complaints and the suffering of their families, is increasing, and on top of that the authority says the scarcity of entertainment places dedicated to this category of people is adding to the woes and says it is a kind of isolation imposed on many of them because of the wrong attitude of the society.
The demands of these groups and their families are increasing to integrate the talented among them into society, noting that the mentally handicapped, aged 21, suffer the most, and they need special care.
Center 21, which deals with people with disabilities and special needs, has a unique role in providing care for people with disabilities who have reached the age of 21, especially as they face an uncertain future when it comes to their physical, mental and social safety.
On the sidelines of a training workshop for children organized by the center in cooperation with LOYAC, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Center for Services for People with Needs, Nabil Al-Nassar, stressed the need to embrace the disabled and make use of their free time for the benefit of them, and to prove their abilities and potentials. To be active members of society, as well as seeking to help them modify their behavior, rehabilitate, develop and integrate them into society.
Al-Nassar stressed the center’s keenness to develop therapeutic and behavioral programs for mental disabilities, and to provide training courses to develop the capabilities of the affiliates and make them self-reliant by giving them responsibility, and encouraging them to integrate functional and social inside and outside the center, as well as marketing their products.
He added: The center is the first of its kind in the Gulf and the Middle East, and aims to embrace people with intellectual disabilities who are 21 years old and above, males and females, and help them modify their behavior and rehabilitate them, pointing out that the center serves about 45 families who have children of this category and who do not have a party receive them.
He added that the importance of establishing the center lies in choosing this age group, especially since school services stop at this age, which forces the student to be in his home without having a goal in life, explaining that the center is the dream of every family that has a son or daughter in this group and that the total number of people with intellectual disabilities in Kuwait is 10,280, according to the latest statistics of the Public Authority for People with Disabilities.
Al-Nassar stated that the number of students in the training workshop is approximately 20 children, ranging in age of 6 to 14 years, in addition to the participation of “Young Loyac” in technical workshops related to “resin or epoxy” and thermal clay.
In turn, the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Center 21 Lamia Al-Humaidhi explained that the center is not considered a school but a second home for its affiliates with cognitive delays, who are over 21 of both sexes, as it provides them with all services, needs and trips, to enjoy hours of happiness and joy in a family atmosphere that prevails Friendliness, fun and an environment prepared to deal with them.
Al-Humaidhi revealed the rental of a new investment building for the center in the Al-Zahra area, which will be gradually moved soon after the completion of the necessary equipment, pointing to the start of the new qualification year for the affiliates as soon as the building is completed.
Al-Humaidhi summarized the challenges facing people with intellectual disabilities over the age of 21 as follows:
01 – Lack of recreational places that suit the nature of their needs
02 – The limited number of day centers designated to take care of them and accommodate their numbers
03 – It is difficult to provide job opportunities for them, even if their disabilities are simple
04 – Their isolation, loneliness, and inability to integrate into society
Al-Nassar praised the role of the operator’s support bodies, including the National Bank of Kuwait, which he described as a “strategic partner” due to its continued support and commitment to its social responsibilities aimed at supporting the community.
He also thanked LOYAC for providing the opportunity to receive more people with a passion for arts and handicrafts, pointing out that the workshop does not only embrace people with special needs, but also opens its doors to everyone and trains all age groups with special needs.