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Social Assistance Programs in Sharjah & the Value of Social Work

The cost of living in the UAE is one of the highest in the world which makes it difficult for people and families in the lower income strata to purchase their own home. For UAE nationals, the UAE government has recognized this issue with a federal law passed in 2001 that confirmed the intention to provide social assistance for multiple categories of people who are already UAE residents. The groups earmarked for assistance include the elderly, divorcees, widows, orphans, abandoned women, abandoned children, students who are married, families where a member is imprisoned, and women who are married to an expat and whom are unable to hold a job.

As you can tell, the assistance program covers many types of people rather than a select group. Let’s now look at the various assistance offered in cities within UAE and social work in general.

Social Assistance Program in UAE

Housing is seen as vital for family unity and community benefit in the UAE. It provides security from a psychological standpoint as well as a physical one. Safe, appropriately situated housing is a basic need for people along with other essentials like clothing and food. Social stability comes from having a home of your own and is viewed as contributing to society as a whole.

The movement on the issue of ensuring housing for all was began by UAE’s founder, the Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and has been continued by the current president who has pushed the housing directive forward to support the vision of housing for everyone in every income bracket. A few institutions have been established to work towards these goals including the Sheikh Zayed Housing Program (SZHP), the Ministry of Public Works and Emirates Development Bank (EDB) and Mohammed bin Rashid Housing Establishment. In all cases, housing projects are paying for the construction effort projects run by local and regional urban planning groups.

Housing Assistance in Sharjah

A complex in Sharjah is being created for private residential use with over 400 villas set to be developed in Al Sweih alone. The effort to provide improved housing is expected to extend to other emirates too. With the EDB formed at the end of 2011 with AED 10bn of available capital, the goal is to provide a range of savings and finance options for citizens wanting to buy their own home. The government of Sharjah also made an agreement with the Emirates Islamic Bank to issue loans and grants for public housing developments. The effort has been a joint one between the president, the Ruler of Sharjah and the Supreme Council.

Assistance in Dubai

For people who are interested in the city nearest Sharjah and what programs they have in place, Dubai through the Community Development Authority provides benefits on a periodic basis to citizens to cover regular living expenses. To cover some medical needs and medical education, up to AED 50,000 is provided only once. For life-threatening situations, an emergency payment of AED 25,000 is available to those people who qualify. The authority also provides monies to the lowest income families to assist in furnishing their home and adding an air conditioner which is a one-time offer.

Social Work Continues

The social assistance effort in Sharjah and in other cities within the UAE is intended to manage the economic differences between the wealthy and the less fortunate. There are also efforts by the General Women’s Union, rehabilitation centers and with government-funded social welfare schemes to add to the social work going on to help the needy.

To learn more about how social work is organized and managed, Rutgers Online offer an online masters in social work which teaches the vital skills that social workers use to help people in need. These online MSW programs are distance learning programs using the internet to connect to the university to take the courses and view the educational videos.

Social work is an extremely rewarding career because you get to see first-hand how your efforts and those of your team help people in need in the local area. Once educated in this subject, you too can join the effort to provide social assistance where it’s needed in Sharjah and elsewhere.

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