Mentor Arabia, the Arab World chapter of the Mentor Foundation, an international organization focused on preventing drug abuse among youth, will hold a Royal Gala Dinner in Kuwait on Monday, April 23, 2007, under the patronage of the Amir of Kuwait, H.H. Sheikh Sabah Al Jaber Al Ahmad Al Sabah. The event will raise awareness about drug issues and raise funds for drug abuse prevention programmes across the Arab World.
Queen Silvia of Sweden, President of the Mentor Foundation, H.E. Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah, Minister of Al-Diwan Al-Amiri Affairs and Prince Turki Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Mentor Arabia, will speak at the gala event.
The VIP dinner, open to 600 guests and hosted by Mr Mohammed Alshaya, Chairman of M.H. Alshaya Co, aims to raise USD1m to support drug abuse prevention and wellness programmes for youth and children across the Arab World. The dinner will be held at the newly opened The Avenues Mall in the city’s Al Rai district. The Avenues is Kuwait’s largest retail and leisure destination, and its newest icon. The dinner’s location reflects the youthful and dynamic image of Mentor Arabia, while also reaching out to young people in one of their favourite places.
Prince Turki Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud highlighted the significance of the event. “The Arab world is experiencing a dangerous increase in the level of drug abuse, a problem that affects not only individuals but also families, friends and communities,” he said. “Thankfully, as a region, this once ignored subject is now being discussed. While this is an enormous step in the right direction, to make a difference our enthusiasm to talk needs to be coupled with a drive for action.”
He added by saying the Mentor Arabia gala event will help create this action, by raising funds and awareness to support activities proven to reduce the incidence of drug abuse and promote the health and wellbeing of children and youth. These include integrated life skills programs in schools as well as community activities that provide youth with healthy, fun and athletic alternatives.
Mr. Mohammed Alshaya praised the generosity of the corporations and individuals who have pledged support for the dinner and Mentor Arabia’s vision for the Middle East.
“Like many other regions, the Arab world has to face the scourge of drug misuse head-on. But unlike other regions of the world, we need to adopt a sense of urgency,” he said. “We have been slow to acknowledge this problem, but acting fast will help guide our growing number of youth, many of whom are impressionable.”
But Mentor Arabia, he cautioned, is only one source of guidance.
“It is also every person’s responsibility to support this cause, whether as a friend, parent or family member, existing or future employer,” he said. “I encourage everyone to be aware of the problem, and engage with Mentor Arabia to find ways to support those affected in our communities.”
The Kuwait fundraiser will be the first of many such events that will build a long-term partnership in each Arab country. The event will be the cornerstone for a long lasting relationship with the local community and the basis for significant joint projects in the future.
The Mentor Foundation
The Mentor Foundation is an international non-governmental organization with the mission to prevent drug-misuse and to promote the health and well-being of young people in the world. It was founded in 1993 by Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden and other dignitaries such as His Royal Highness Prince Talal Bin Abd El-Aziz Al Saud.
The Mentor Foundation implements educational, cultural, informative and training projects and programs in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO), governmental institutions, civil society organizations and the private sector to prevent youth from falling into the destructive drug-trap.
The board is presided over by Her Majesty Queen Silvia, the Mentor Foundation’s Board of Trustees is drawn from a wide range of dignitaries including H.E Prince Talal Bin Abd El-Aziz of Saudi Arabia, H.M Queen Nour Al-Hussein of Jordan, the Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg and Crown Prince Felipe of Spain.
Mentor Arabia is a non-governmental organization launched in April 2006 and led by a Board of Trustees chaired by His Royal Highness Prince Turki Bin Talal Bin Abd El-Aziz El Saud.
Its vision is of an Arab world that provides opportunities for the healthy development of children and youth free from the harm caused by drug-misuse. Its mission is to prevent drug misuse among youth by striving to identify, promote and share information, and resources. It will also share proven and promising practices and projects that make drug misuse less likely among these groups.
Mentor Arabia is the eighth regional chapter to join the Mentor Foundation family.
Mentor Arabia was born from the recommendations of the scientific workshop held in December 2004 in Dubai, in partnership with the Dubai Police, entitled “For an effective prevention against drug misuse”.
Participating in this were representatives from several international governmental and non-governmental institutions working in the field of drug prevention together with experts, academics and researchers specialized in the field.
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