ABU DHABI, 'The Exchange', a new social innovation space at Yas Mall, by the Authority of Social Contribution, Ma'an, was opened to the public today revealing a packed programme of international speakers, CSR and university workshops as well as family-friendly activities for the community.

Dr. Mugheer Al Khalil, Chairman of the Department of Community Development Abu Dhabi, Brigadier Othman Haji Al Khouri, Director of the Missions Administration, Abu Dhabi Police, and Nafie Al Hammadi, Acting Director of Finance and Administration Affairs, Zayed Higher Organisation for People of Determination, attended the launch of the platform on Monday.

'The Exchange' will serve as a platform for the public to discover more about making a social impact in Abu Dhabi.

The event was also attended by Salama Al Ameemi, Ma'an Director-General, and Dr. Mona Al Mansoori, from the Abu Dhabi Housing Authority, and Greg Fewer, Chief Financial Officer of Aldar Properties.

Attendees at the launch received a tour of The Exchange, located on the first floor of Yas Mall opposite 'The Coffee Club'. Aldar has offered the space as part of their corporate social responsibility, CSR, efforts.

The social space consists of five different areas - Join the Community, Get Inspired, Learn from Others, Make New Connections, and Get Involved, ranging from a walk-through exhibition following the story of Ma'an to specialised workshop areas and lounge space.

The full programme will feature inspiring talks from international expert speakers, sessions dedicated to CSR and university students. It will also host meets and greets with Ma'an's social entrepreneurs (the Impact Makers), child-friendly yoga sessions to improve mental wellbeing, book readings and more.

Visitors can also drop-in and learn more about Ma'an, discover volunteering opportunities, and take steps towards growing their social enterprises. They will have the chance to network, attend talks and workshops, browse inspiring books, work on their projects, and meet future collaborators in an informal lounge space.

The Exchange will run for four weeks until 7th March, each week following a different theme of programmes.

Speaking at the opening, Al Ameemi, said, The Exchange is a beautiful, inspiring space that encourages us all to think about how we can help others in our community.

Ma'an aims to encourage the community to collaborate and grow the third sector, so it is only right that we open our first community space in Yas Mall - right at the heart of Abu Dhabi's day-to-day life. I hope all aspiring impact makers come and visit The Exchange and learn more about how they can channel their visions and passion into projects that can make a lasting, positive change in our community, she added.

Al Ameemi went on to note that individuals can still apply to the Ma'an Social Incubator, adding that applications are still accepted for its latest cycle. She explained that Ma'an is seeking ten more ambitious social entrepreneurs work in the mental health sector.

I would encourage everyone to consider applying, Al Ameemi emphasised.

Applications are open until 29th February 2020 for budding social start-ups working in the mental health sector to apply to the Ma'an Social Incubator and Accelerator run by the Authority for Social Contribution Ma'an.

Ten teams will get access to workshops and training programmes to hone their business skills, networking opportunities with investors, third sector leaders and regional and global industry figures as well as milestone funding of up to AED 200,000.

Source: Emirates News Agency