OUR JOURNEY

The genesis of Manzil was a non-profit support group called ‘Special Families Support’ which was started by our Director Dr Ayesha Husaini on 9th December, 1999. The group grew to over 200 members and is one of GCC’s oldest non-profit groups focusing on social inclusion of persons with disability.

The support group blossomed into “Manzil”, a non-profit Center that was officially inaugurated on February 7th 2005 by Sheikha Jameela Mohammed Al Qasimi, Director General, Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services. Meaning “Destination” in Urdu or “Home” in Arabic, Manzil caters to 42 students with cognitive disabilities (from 4 years onwards) with a staff of 27 making it a highly qualitative center with a significantly low student to staff ratio. The average experience of our teaching staff in the disability arena is over 13 years.

The organization is now spreading its wings further and is crossing international borders, doing inclusion research & consultancy and is also involved as an intellectual partner with Governmental entities.

WHY MANZIL

Our Mission is to actively promote inclusion by providing a professional learning environment for persons with disability to nurture their potential & develop the requisite self help, social, educational & vocational skills that are required to function in society.

Why are we unique? At Manzil we work towards shaping an inclusive society. Inclusion is recognizing our universal ‘oneness’ and interdependence; that we are ‘one’ even though we are not the ‘same’. While researchers define inclusion within an educational concept, to us inclusion is more than merely studying together. It is about having equal opportunities for all, being accepted for what one is, being together, working together, living together…

The strong focus towards inclusion gives Manzil students a chance to learn academic, social & vocational skills in a mainstream environment. It also gives society the opportunity to be exposed to different abilities and challenges faced by our students. At a young age this opportunity can shape minds and personalities of both those with and without disabilities in an inclusive & positive manner.

CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE

At Manzil, we believe in empowerment of every student that walks through our doors so that they can lead a life of independence and dignity. We achieve this goal by capacity building of people with varied abilities, raising social awareness and fostering an inclusive society.

I firmly believe that if people are exposed to differences amongst individuals and are taught to accept disability as part of life from a young age, then they will grow into responsible adults. In this case, society will not be faced with issues regarding acceptance of differences, whether at an educational, professional or social level. Based on this philosophy, we at Manzil promote inclusive education and work tirelessly towards maximizing the potential of each child and ensure that they participate in the workforce and get woven into the social fabric to make a meaningful contribution to society.

Sheikh Maktoum bin Butti AlMaktoum
Chairman

OUR TEAM

BOARD MEMBERS

Sheikh Maktoum bin Butti AlMaktoumChairman

Mr. Sultan Al HajjiVice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Total E&P UAE

Dr. Abdulkareem Sultan Al OlamaCEO, Al Jalila Foundation

Mr. Hassan DarveshChairman, Darvesh Group, Dubai

Mr. Rahul NagpalPartner & CEO, The Classic Partnership Advertising, Dubai

Mr. Ricky HusainiCEO, United Sustainable Developments

Ms. Sandi SaksenaFinancial Advisor, Nexus

Mr. Wayne JonesPartner, Clyde & Co

Sir Bob Geldof- Our Patron

MANAGEMENT

Dr. Ayesha Saeed Husaini

Director

Dr. Ayesha is one of the rare Director’s in the region whose PhD is in Special Education, from the University of Sheffield, UK. Her thesis on ‘Inclusion in UAE’ gives her a unique grounding on the needs of UAE society and how best to include individuals with disability. Her Psychology Honors Thesis in the disability arena ranked First in Delhi University, and she also got a University Ranking in her Masters Degree in Social Work. She also has a Post Graduate Diploma in Industrial Relations & Personnel Management.

Ayesha has been an Educational Psychologist, Counselor & Lecturer during her 20 years in Dubai, and is the Founder of Dubai’s first support group for families having persons with disability in 1999 which grew to over 200 members. She has been a keynote speaker at many conferences, and her TV show ‘Ask Ayesha’ has been prominently featured in UAE media. She has won several awards, including the‘UAE Woman of the Year’ Award. Dr Ayesha is also the proud recipient of the 2012 Princess Haya Award for Special Education in the “Outstanding Director General” category.

Samar Addasi

Head of Programs

Ms. Samar has over 19 years of hands-on management experience in Special Education. Her expertise encompasses planning, programming, personnel development and running projects in professional organizations.She was the Program Coordinator at Al Asreiyya School, Amman, spanning learning support and inclusion. Ms Samar was instrumental in developing programs to meet a wide range of needs and enabled children from the least to the most able to realize their full potential. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology (Major) / Business Administration (Minor) and a Master’s degree in Special Education from Jordan University. She also has a post-graduate diploma in Vocational and Personal Development from the Open Polytechnic, New Zealand.

At Manzil, Ms. Samar in her capacity of Program Manager supervises the Student Individualised Educational Plans, runs inclusive programs based on international best practices and manages the entire teaching staff as well.

Sari Kuparinen

Head of Operations

Ms Sari is from Finland and has lived for 20 years in the UAE. She holds BSc in Social Sciences from the University of Tampere, Finland and is a graduate student in the University of Liverpool’s MSc in Business and Organisational Psychology program.

Ms Sari’s experience in the disability arena spans across 27 years in Finland and in the UAE. She has worked with persons with disability, both children and adults, in residential as well as in educational settings. Ms Sari has been a key part of Manzil’s management team since 2006, and is responsible for all Administrative, Operational & Fundraising efforts of the Centre.

ACHIEVEMENTS

85% of Manzil graduates are in mainstream jobs

Outstanding Director Award 2012 - PHASE AWARDS

Outstanding Family of Special Needs Child 2010 - PHASE AWARDS. Nelofer is one of our first graduates and is working at ENBD to support her family.

Outstanding Special Needs Supporter 2010 & 2015 (Zurich & Jumeirah Creekside Hotel) - PHASE AWARDS

Manzil Art Collection displayed in prestigious art studio and hotels in Dubai

Students are attending the partial integration program regularly to interact with their mainstream peers.

Manzil won Arabian Business Achievement Award 2016 in the Social Service Provider category.We would like to thank all our supporters for making this possible!

Manzil is the only Pearson Assured Special Education Center in the GCC region. The Center has an international benchmark on quality of all the processes underpinning the design, delivery, quality assurance and/or assessment of the education and training programs.

Manzil is the first and only organization certified as Disability Confident Committed outside UK, in line with the UK Disability Confident Accreditation Scheme

What People Have to Say About Us