Thirteen UAE university students visited children at a paediatric hospital in the US, where they performed the yola traditional dance and shared other cultural traditions with the patients.
The students were part of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia) Scholarship programme and visited the Children’s National Medical Centre in Washington, DC, which is home to the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Paediatric Surgical Innovation.
The students also gave toys to the children and taught them how to write their names in Arabic. They toured the institute as well as the Washington Nationals Paediatric Diabetes Care Complex.
Some activities were covered on the hospital’s closed-circuit television and radio entertainment programmes, so that children who were not able to leave their rooms could be involved.
As part of the programme, the Adia scholars studying at US universities take part in an annual visit to the UAE Embassy in Washington and participate in a community service project. Some of the students chose to do the service at Children’s National Medical Centre.
The Adia programme involves academic study, personal development and extracurricular activities.
The Sheikh Zayed Institute was created by a US$150 million (Dh550.9 million) gift from Abu Dhabi and aims to advance medical innovations to improve children’s health. It focuses in four main areas: pain medicine, personalised medicine and systems biology, immunology and bioengineering.