Qatar’s pioneering not-for-profit educational organization Reach Out To Asia (ROTA) is fostering the spirit of volunteerism in Qatar by partnering with 5 secondary schools to send 24 students, 5 teachers, and a trainer, on a 7-day trip to visit an education project in Indonesia.
In collaboration with the Indonesian Titian Foundation and under the sponsorship of Vodafone Qatar, ROTA volunteers from Al Ieman Independent Secondary School, Al Bayan Independent Secondary School, Amna Bint Wahab Independent Secondary School, Al Sailiyah Independent Secondary School and Qatar Independent Secondary School departed for Indonesia on 12th April.
The all-girls trip to offer a unique service opportunity for volunteers to explore and expand their skills; during the trip, ROTA volunteers will participate in a focused activity program featuring student-led activities and workshops emphasizing sports, environment, English language, and art.
“We are very delighted to see Qatari female students get engaged in international community service, thanks to ROTA’s continuous efforts to make international volunteering accessible for all. Vodafone Qatar is proud to sponsor ROTA’s International Outreach Programme and to encourage youth to reach out to the world and help,” Dana Haidan, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility in Vodafone Qatar.
Prior to the trip, the volunteers attended orientation sessions to equip them on cross-cultural understanding, interpersonal communication, self-awareness and empathy.
“ROTA’s international volunteer trips provide unique opportunities for Qatar-based volunteers to be exposed to the incredible work ROTA contributes to around Asia and actually get involved in hand-on work on the ground in these projects. Volunteers commit themselves to an exhausting program of work and activities over the trip but, in the end, gain from an immensely rewarding and fulfilling experience,” said ROTA Executive Director Mr. Essa Al Mannai.
ROTA’s relationship with the Titian Foundation began in 2006. In the aftermath of the May 2006 earthquake in Klaten District, ROTA supported the construction of a vocational school in the district. The partnership with Titian Foundation continues to flourish and the foundation remains a big supporter of International Volunteer Trips.
The first Independent Secondary School Girls trip was conducted in March 2012 to Cambodia with 21 volunteers participating in community service, service learning and cultural activities over a period of 8 days. A second trip followed in March 2013 with a group of 32 volunteers that included 2 multimedia volunteers and a trainer. Building on the success of an all-girls trip in the past, this year the volunteers will visit SD Banyuripan Elementary School located at Bayat Village in Yogyakarta. The SD Banyuripan Elementary School was built in 2007 with the help of volunteers who assisted in the construction of the Bayat school compound. The compound includes the SD Banyuripan School, SMP Banyuripan School and a kindergarten. The SD School consists of 194 students in grades 1 through 6 and has 7 classrooms where the volunteers will be giving their workshops.
“Our activity program is designed to immerse the students in the local culture and ensure they benefit from a positive learning experience throughout the visit, while also leaving time to enjoy their visit to Indonesia,” said Mohamed Abdulla Saleh, ROTA’s National Programs Director.
Noora Al Kubaisi, a teacher at Al Bayan Independent Secondary School, expressing her feelings about the trip said, “I have been on several volunteer trips with ROTA chaperoning my students. It is always exciting to join these trips and I am looking forward to know the people and the culture of Indonesia and to work with the students. I am convinced that by the end of the trip, I will end up discovering the true essences of life; sharing and giving.”
After returning from Indonesia, the volunteers and supporters will be invited to a Reflection Event where they will come together to discuss, reflect on and share their Indonesia experiences with others.
Amina Al Jassim, a student volunteer from Qatar Independent Secondary School said, “It is an honor to be a part of ROTA’s volunteer program as it gives me an opportunity to realize my belief that every child has the capacity to succeed in school and in life, if only they have access to a quality education, and this is what ROTA is doing.”
In addition, ROTA will seek to maintain the momentum by exploring opportunities to publicize the volunteers’ trip reflections to their school peers and the wider community, as well as advocating for the needs of students in Indonesia through Qatar-based activities. ROTA Volunteer Program will be coordinating several other trips in 2014; such trips contribute to exposing locally based volunteers to ROTA projects around Asia, understanding the needs of underprivileged communities in other countries and fostering a spirit of volunteerism and community service among society in Qatar.
For further information please contact:
Denise Yamine Chouity