Zippy's Friends for SEN in Kuwait
In November 2018, our Programme Director Caroline and Project Manager Hannah visited Kuwait to deliver training on Zippy’s Friends (known in the region as Labeeb’s Friends) for Special Needs to our partner, COPING. This is an adapted version of Labeeb’s Friends for use in special schools, the programme includes a range of extra activities which are accessible for children with a wide range of special needs and the materials are Widgit Symbol based.
The training was attended by Dr Ahlam al Ajami (Labeeb’s Friends Coordinator in Kuwait), Amani Attili (Regional Coordinator) and two special needs specialists, Dr Ahmed Aljouhari and Dr Nagla Mohamed. They will be working together to implement the Labeeb’s Friends for special needs programme in Kuwait.
During the visit, Amani, Caroline and Hannah also took part in a seminar organised by Ahlam on social and emotional learning. The seminar was attended by special needs teachers, psychologists and social workers who were very interested to learn more about the history, effects and implementation of the Labeeb’s Friends for special needs programme.
Unfortunately, we were unable to visit Labeeb’s Friends classes due to flooding in Kuwait after unusual heavy rain! However, Caroline and Ahlam were also interviewed about the programme on live national TV, a great opportunity to spread the word about Labeeb’s Friends and generate interest in the new programme.
The special needs programme is currently running in the UK and Lithuania with children aged 6-17 years old. We hope more international partners will take on the programme in the future, particularly as pupils with special educational needs are at much greater risk of developing mental health problems.
There is lots of excitement and interest in Labeeb’s Friends for special needs in Kuwait and we look forward to seeing the programme grow.