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KW23_WL_Alnowair_HHSheikhaIntisarAlSabah_PORTRAIT

KUWAIT - Health & Education

Sheikha Intisar AlSabah

Founder, Alnowair, Intisars, Ebbarra, Bareec, and Intisar Foundation

Bio

Sheikha Intisar AlSabah is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, author, film producer, columnist, and a princess of the AlSabah family, the ruling family of Kuwait. Her social enterprises (Intisars and Ebbarra) spearhead a new movement of women’s self-empowerment, while her non-profits (Alnowair, Bareec) supplement the formal education system and improve organizational cultures with programs in socio-emotional skills based upon positive psychology. Her contribution to peace is embodied in the Intisar Foundation. Her vision of fostering peace in the Arab world and beyond, regularly advocated during her many international and regional board engagements, advisory roles, media appearances, and UN General Assembly keynotes has won her global acclaim.

"Alnowair has been promoting positive social and behavioral change since 2013, and we have many different programs, which are recognized and supported by numerous authorities in the country."
Alnowair is working to promote positive behavior and social change within the school system, community, and workplace through the techniques of positive psychology.
Can you give us an overview of Alnowair’s operations and activities?

Alnowair has been promoting positive social and behavioral change since 2013, and we have many different programs, which are recognized and supported by numerous authorities in the country. One of the programs, Bareec, focuses on supporting governmental schools across Kuwait. We are supported by the Higher Authority for Planning and Development and the Ministry of Education. Through the techniques of positive psychology, we promote positive behavior and social change within the school system. Boomerang—a program supported by private organizations and the Ministry of Education—works toward kinder school cultures and reducing all forms of bullying through applied theater and kindness strategies. The program systematically helps in promoting tolerance, inclusivity, respect, and celebrating diversity. As a result of Boomerang Applied Theatre workshops teachers have reported: 90% reduction of bullying incidents among students programs participants; 80% of the trained educators felt more equipped to resolve bullying through kindness by the unconventional method of applied theatre; a higher level of trust, respect, and kindness in the school environment; better teamwork and unity among students; increased respect for cultural diversity and individual differences; and improved social and emotional learning skills (SEL). Since 2017, the Boomerang program has positively impacted 15,100 students, of which 6,308 were girls; empowered 264 victims, bullies, and bystanders; conducted 70 transformative plays in 33 private schools; and conducted 435 hours of applied theater workshops. Before the pandemic, our initiatives impacted about 11,000 students in 54 high schools. Recently, we have also created a theater-based initiative that helps to promote leadership in young girls.

Could you elaborate on this new program focused on leadership among girls?

The participants are performing theater plays, which enables them to learn how to engage with the audience, speak in public, act, and gain confidence. Through theater, they can develop their soft skills and gain valuable experience of performing under pressure. It is a great self-development tool. We have noticed the transformation that happens within these young girls once they complete the program. Through questionnaires, we have measured the impact and we hope to have the report later in the year. We are also committed to a quantitative study on their behavior change based on their parents’ observations. So far, the Youth Public Authority is eager to continue this initiative, and we are planning to review the project in the near future.

What is the Corporate Wellbeing Program, and what is its purpose and impact on local workforce?

Alnowair’s Corporate Wellbeing Program engages employees through positivity exercises to generate positive behavior change which in turn, increase employee wellbeing, productivity, and organizational profitability. It is designed based on scientific studies which show that there is a positive correlation between positivity, productivity, and profitability. Since 2016, Alnowair has trained 550 employees/trainees at Zain Kuwait, Commercial Bank of Kuwait (CBK), Al Hamra Business Tower & Luxury Center, and EQUATE Petrochemical Company. Not only have participants demonstrated a significant 33.8% increase in positive outlook toward life, within two weeks of the program they have also benefited from practicing positivity at the workplace.

What leadership initiatives do you do in the education sector, beside the positive psychology programs for children?

We have a project with the Ministry of Education in collaboration with Columbia School for Teachers, which is the number one training university for teachers in America. The project is titled Certified Learners Practitioner. We are set to work with the Ministry of Education to train new or onboarding teachers in positive psychology. We want them to be ready to lead their classes in a positive way. This is another first-of-its-kind program in the Arab world, so we are looking forward to seeing the positive impact the initiative will have on Kuwait and the wider MENA region. Consequently, building a positive community is our goal.

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