Good Hearts And Pirouettes 2009: National Logo

Good hearts and pirouettes

The National logo, global utilities Primary navigation main content Members of the Abu Dhabi-based Fantasia Ballet troupe will put on a special show, entitled
Let’s Change the World for the Better, in aid of the Donate a Brick campaign. Sammy Dallal / The National Having worked for a children’s education start-up in Mauritius before starting L’Eco austral, an economic journal covering the Indian Ocean, Poonoosamy initially planned to take a break from working. “My husband travels a lot, so I wanted to make sure the family were well settled here,” she says. However, after only three months in Abu Dhabi, she met with the head of education at the Special Care Centre and was soon drawn into the fray. “The situation was really critical and I was so motivated to do something. I wanted to make a difference.” The Special Care Centre, which is housed in a villa near Al Wahda Mall, was set up in 1989 by the Indian Ladies Association, with its primary purpose to look after children from low-income families. For those who could not afford them, fees were subsidised up to 70 per cent. It was initially run by the Indian Embassy, during which time the school grew in popularity, attracting children from a wide variety of backgrounds. But then new legislation was passed and the school became reliant on donations.
A difficult period followed until Poonoosamy breezed in and promptly rebranded the school. “Some of the committee members were working full-time,” she says. “I was a full-time volunteer, so I wanted to do something.” Soon, she had set up Good Heart, and in March 2006, the organisation held its first art auction. “Some of the children are really good artists and with that single event we raised a lot of money,” she adds. Within a year, the waiting list had grown from 22 to 43 and, for the first time, the school was making a profit.

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