Reach Out To Asia (ROTA), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), in partnership with Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU), recently travelled to Nepal with 14 students on a volunteer mission to develop the capabilities of Nepali youth.
The joint initiative also known as ‘Not Your Average Spring Break’, involved students from HBKU and other partner universities in Education City visiting the Agyauli Community Resource Centre in the Nawalparasi District of western Nepal.
The trip utilized peer-to-peer workshops to help provide opportunities for young people in the country, aligning with QF’s ambition to unlock human potential and develop knowledge based economies, for personal and economic progression in Qatar and beyond.
Mohammed Saleh, ROTA Director of National Programs, said:
ROTA is committed to providing educational opportunities to disadvantaged communities around the world. ROTA also strongly believes in the importance of providing conducive opportunities which enable youth from both Qatar and Nepal to interact, share knowledge and learn from each other, thus developing compassionate, socially responsible and proactive global citizens.’
The ROTA-HBKU Student Volunteer Trip is part of ROTA’s overarching ‘International Volunteer Trips Program’, which is sponsored by HSBC Qatar. The trip is also part of ROTA’s partnership with The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and READ Nepal, who are currently collaborating on a four-year initiative in Nepal. The initiative aims to establish and upgrade Community Resource Centres with the purpose of creating educational, social and economic opportunities through community engagement.
During the trip, the Education City student volunteers led daily peer-to-peer workshops that focused on a variety of subjects such as Leadership Skills, ICT Skills, Cultural Exchange as well as Sport and Health.
Commenting on her experience in Nepal, Sahar Al Ansari, a student from Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar who participated in the trip, said:
It was eye-opening to see young people my age, and with as much ability as me, underestimate themselves. Although we came to teach the students in Nepal, we also learnt a lot from them too.’
We tried to create a curriculum that would enthuse our students and bring out their leadership qualities. We also worked on highlighting their beautiful culture and shared ideas about how to live a healthy lifestyle. ROTA’s Community Resource Centre in Nawalparasi has definitely enabled the local Nepali youth to improve their lives and those of their families.’
The ‘Not Your Average Spring Break’ trip provided our students with an invaluable opportunity to contribute to the work of ROTA. HBKU is committed to local and international service and I hope the work of our students will further raise awareness in Qatar about the importance of global volunteering. The participating students have made all of us at HBKU very proud.’
For a complete list of QF’s initiatives and projects, visit qf.org.qa.