SEDRA Foundation has successfully concluded its second internship programme with Reed Exhibitions Middle East for14 young adults with disabilities at the recently held Airport Show 2016 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC).
During the three-day event, the interns had intense interactions as ‘young professionals’ with visitors, exhibitors and employees across all the service sectors related to the exhibition. The interns described their experience as part of Reed’s professional team as motivating, exciting and educational, yet at the same time quite exhausting.
Based in Abu Dhabi, SEDRA is a non-profit organization acting as management consultants for public and private institutions and enablers empowering children, teenagers and adults with disabilities and their families.
Featuring eight interns from Dubai and six from Abu Dhabi, the programme focused on three main areas: improving self-esteem, developing core vocational skills and training in social competence.
The interns were involved across several show activities including giving out lanyards and brochures, scanning visitor badges, distributing invitations and conference programs, assisting the REED exhibitor services team, as well as supporting the German and French Pavilions at the event.
“It was beyond our expectations that the young people could perform with this much confidence. This is part of our programme to develop their vocational skills through real work experience and will help them explore their latent talent and abilities, which will give them the confidence to pursue a career and facilitate their inclusion in the society,” said Reem Al Fahim, CEO of SEDRA.
“It was exciting to see how their confidence grew over the span of the project. The more experienced the interns got, the easier they interacted with visitors. They teamed up very well with their co-workers from all exhibition areas and blended beautifully within the larger exhibition team,” she added.
The interns were trained to welcome guests, aiding registration, ushering, and assisting the show team throughout the event. A major success factor was the trainings beforehand as well as the daily on site meetings to reinforce key messages.
The interns coped with the training very well and their level of adaptation and interactions with the general public were quite high.
Speaking about their second collaboration to run a disability internship programme with the SEDRA team, Daniyal Qureshi, Group Exhibitions Director, Reed Exhibitions Middle East, said: “Once again, we were pleased to work with SEDRA on this wonderful programme. The interns performed spectacularly, always smiling and ready to assist our team across all fronts. We were impressed with their positive work ethic and are extremely grateful to all the interns for their fantastic on-site support. We look forward to working with them again soon and hope we have set a good example for other organisations in our community to run similar inclusion programmes.”
SEDRA will continue to facilitate the inclusion of persons with disabilities across all facets of society. The promotion of an inclusive environment is a major focus for the Foundation and through collaborations with organisations such as REED Exhibitions and Microsoft Gulf amongst others, the firm hopes to raise awareness across all levels of society and provide an inclusive work environment for young adults with disabilities.