Wemmy De Maaker Managing Director
Wemmy has been living in Dubai for the past 11 years with her husband and two children. During this time Wemmy realized that there were limited activities for people with special needs, especially young adults once they had completed school. Wemmy who has had more than 15 years experience working with people with a broad range of disabilities in Holland; felt that she wanted to give something back to the people of Dubai. In 2009, Wemmy in collaboration with Robert Wolf from Beautiful People in Holland (www.beautifulpeople.nl) ran a campaign, to raise awareness and revenue for an art studio.This is when Mawaheb from Beautiful People was created, "Mawaheb" the Arabic word for "talented".
The purpose of the art studio is to bridge the gap between society and those people with a special need. At Mawaheb from Beautiful People art is used as a tool to develop life skills and encourage students to be more independent individuals.
Wemmy hopes that the opening of the studio will be an inspiration for other similar projects to be established across the Emirates.
Gulshan Kavarana Art Teacher
Gulshan our resident artist has been an art teacher since 1987 and has been passionately involved with the special needs community in Dubai for many years. Gulshan, who originates from India with her husband and two children, has been a volunteer at the Dubai Centre for Special Needs for 13 years.
In 1999 Gulshan started a support group for the parents of special needs people (SFS) www.sfs-group.net and is also on the executive committee of SAATHI, (Society for Advocacy and Awareness towards Holistic Inclusion) www.saathidubai.org. In addition, the Kavarana family were the first recipients of the Princess Haya Outstanding Award in 2009.
Gulshan believes that teaching is a passion that comes from within, not just a profession. She also believes each student learns in a different way and we should embrace this. "I believe our young artists have many talents and the wisdom to use them well." Gulshan lives by the saying "A great teacher is a great artist, but her medium is not a canvas, but the human soul." Gulshan also states "What is being happy? Being happy means you have something to look forward too. For me that place is Mawaheb from Beautiful People".
Alan Mongey Art Teacher
Alan has been working as a Professional Visual Artist and Arts Teacher since 2000 and has been actively involved in Community based Arts programmes, through national based curriculums, charity organisations and state bodies. Alan originates from Ireland and has been working and living in Dubai for the past two years. He specialises in Sculpture, but also works in Drawing, Print, Mixed Media and Urban Art.
Alan has worked extensively with all age throughout the whole social spectrum. Last year Alan worked as the Head of the Art department for a private school in Dubai and was responsible for devising and implementing the yearly curriculums from grade 5 to grade 12 culminating in a large public exhibition of students work.
Alan believes in engaging with students, making the work relevant to them, teaching them new ways of making and pushing them further for the best results, to increse their confidence and self development. “ Art is about realising one’s own potential, increasing self-pride and creating ownership of future possibilities “ Recently started at MAWAHEB, Alan exclaims, “The Artists at MAWAHEB are already extremely talented, full of energy and willing to learn new ways of creating, I am immensely fortunate to have the opportunity to work with these Beautiful People !!! “