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Gulf International Bank Hosts ‘Ayadi Al Amal’ Art Exhibition and Auction with Bahrain Down Syndrome Society

In line with its Corporate Social Responsibility programme ‘WAGIB’, Gulf International Bank (GIB) today inaugurated ‘Ayadi Al Amal’ (Hands of Hope) art exhibition and auction in collaboration with the Bahrain Down Syndrome Society (BDSS) at the bank’s headquarters.


The exclusive exhibition showcases paintings created by the children from the BDSS, painted during a GIB staff volunteering day at the Society’s Care Centre earlier this year. All paintings exhibited at the bank’s newly redesigned lobby will be for sale in silent auction with the proceeds donated to the BDSS.


GIB CEO Mr. Abdulaziz Al-Helaissi and the bank’s management committee welcomed the talented children accompanied by the Society’s President Adel Fakhro and other BDSS employees to the official opening ceremony this morning. The event was also attended by Subah Salem Al Dossari, Undersecretary of Labour Affairs for the Ministry of Labour and Social Development, as well as members of the media and general public.  


Mr. Fakhro commented on the occasion, saying: “Bahrain Down Syndrome Society is delighted with the ongoing partnership with GIB. We are thankful for the generosity of GIB and their continued backing of the centre.”


The Bahrain Down Syndrome Society and its Down Syndrome Care Centre provide direct and indirect support to individuals with Down Syndrome, their parents and their families. It also adopts an integral part in promoting and developing local services available to individuals with Down Syndrome in the fields of health, psychology, education and social skills. Additionally, the society operates an information centre supporting research and studies on topics related to the syndrome. The society also works towards erasing obstacles against the employment of these children, as they mature and enter the workforce, promoting their education and rehabilitation.


In Bahrain there are more than 1,000 families that care for someone that has Down Syndrome, with more than 600 children receiving regular care at the BDSS centre. The BDSS was launched in 1988 and has 150 members.


Director of the BDSS Care Centre, Dr. Mohammed Almannai, stated: “The exhibition provides an excellent opportunity for people to see the works of these delightful children. Unfortunately, many people still see children with Down Syndrome a certain way. There is still a negative stigma. With this exhibition I want to send the message that we can do a lot more than what people assume. We can achieve so much.”


GIB CEO Mr. Al-Helaissi commented: “We are proud to support the Bahrain Down Syndrome Society.  The society’s work in assisting children with Down Syndrome, their families, and promoting public awareness of the condition in the local community is exemplary.”


The Ayadi Al Amal exhibition will be open to the general public until 13 October at GIB head office, Al Dowali Building, 3 Palace Avenue, Manama, from Sunday to Thursday, 9 am-5 pm. An ID is required for visitors to the exhibition.


GIB’s CSR programme ‘WAGIB’ is committed to supporting local communities in which it operates with a range of sustainable development programmes and local initiatives. ‘WAGIB’ emphasises themes with long-term positive results in the fields of youth and career development, women’s empowerment, health awareness and economic development.