With a diversified economy and a growing SME sector, the UAE has become an oasis of entrepreneurships and small businesses. Recognizing the importance of instilling entrepreneurship spirit from a young age and across all segments of society, RAKBANK held an event for RAK Autism Centre at Banyan Tree Al Wadi to promote basic financial literacy and independence through simple retail transactions.
Banyan Tree Al Wadi in Ras Al Khaimah hosted nine autistic students between the ages of nine and fifteen for a fun and interactive morning of preparing and decorating cookies and muffins.
The Executive Chef of Banyan Tree Al Wadi and Banyan Tree Ras Al Khaimah Beach, Nugraha Wardhana, led the class along with four trainee Emirati chefs and the CSR committee.
The students then headed to RAK Mall where they set up a kiosk and sold their baked goods, with proceeds going towards the RAK Autism Centre.
According to Aisha Al Shamsi, Headmaster at RAK Autism Centre, “extracurricular activities are crucial in helping improve the skills and behavior of students with special needs, and give students real-life experiences that teach them how good it feels to earn from the fruit of their labor.”
Axel Jarosch, General Manager of Banyan Tree Al Wadi & Banyan Tree Ras Al Khaimah Beach said; “Social and environmental responsibility has been close to Banyan Tree’s heart since the very beginning. We are committed to sustainability, not only in terms of the surrounding environment but also by helping to build a better society through a series of programmes and initivatives that engagage with the local community. We work with nearby schools and disadvantaged children to create a fun and educational environment where they can learn about everything from cookery and local wildlife to falconary and conservation.”
“With a firm commitment to inclusion in the workforce,” said Lamis Daoud, Head of Corporate Communications at RAKBANK, “initiatives like these are in line with our social responsibility strategy that supports people and centers for special needs and encourages financial independence across different segments of society. As the only centre for autistic students in the northern emirates, we’ve been strong supporters of the RAK Autism Centre since its inception in 2009, in various capacities, as part of our commitment to our home emirate of Ras al Khaimah and its people.”
The Bank previously sponsored the 2014 RAK “Startup Weekend” facilitated by Young Arab Leaders to encourage entrepreneurial spirit among undergraduate students in Ras Al Khaimah. It also offers work-training positions for people with special needs.