It was in Maryland where Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan organised a reading forum and donated copies of her own book, The Lost Princess, to the hospital’s paediatric ward.
ABU DHABI // The Wanna Read? initiative created by Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nayhan was inspired by a visit to the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.
It was in the American city where she organised a reading forum and donated copies of her own book, The Lost Princess, to the hospital’s paediatric ward.
“I was impressed by the programmes they had for young patients,” said Sheikha Shamma.
“One of these programmes is a children’s library in the paediatric ward. I did my research and felt that children in the UAE could benefit from the same thing. The idea is healing through reading. When they are unwell, a child needs a place to escape to. A book can spark their imagination and take them to that place.”
The Sheikha’s initiative is funded by charitable donation. A volunteer programme is being developed.
“I hope to see the community involved, not only the hospital staff. We would like volunteers to come to the hospitals and read to the children,” said Sheikha Shamma.
“I hope that the Wanna Read? initiative will spread throughout hospitals in the UAE and GCC to help these children.”
Wanna Read? has so far opened six paediatric reading rooms in four of the major hospitals in Abu Dhabi. Four more reading rooms will be opened by the end of this year.