Reach Out To Asia’s Adult English Literacy (RAEL) Program has been launched again this year in collaboration with the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Northwestern University in Qatar, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, as well as the Public Works Authority (Ashgal).

The programme enables migrant workers to take a break from their daily duties and acquire language skills that can help them achieve their personal goals and improve their opportunities in life. The initiative enables the migrant workers  to develop their ability to effectively communicate at a basic level in English in their daily activities.

ROTA’s Community Development Manager, Abdulla al Bikri, said:

ROTA’s Adult English Literacy Program has proved to be a very effective way of supporting migrant workers and empowering them to achieve their aspirations and goals at work. I am pleased to see such a big number of volunteers signing up for this humanitarian initiative. It does make me proud to know that we have so many people dedicated to improving and empowering the well-being of others. We are thankful to our sponsor, Qatar Petroleum, which also shares our belief of supporting workers to enhance their ability to achieve personal goals and improve life opportunities through our adult literacy programme.’

Started on 6 September 2014, the RAEL Program will take place over a 16-week period that is split into two terms. The first term began this week and will last for eight consecutive weeks, while the second term will start in February 2015.

This year, over 120 volunteers from the Qatar Foundation’s branch campus universities, Ashgal, and ROTA are entrusted with the task of helping low-skilled workers improve their English language skills. By teaching workers within their own organisations, the student volunteer tutors will help improve productivity as well as demonstrate a commitment to social responsibility and life-long learning.

The programme is sponsored by Qatar Petroleum (QP). Public Relations & Communications Manager of QP, Abdulrahman Abdulla Al Obaidly, said:

We in Qatar Petroleum are delighted to continue our sponsorship of ROTA’s Adult English Literacy Program, as this initiative is fully consistent with the human development pillar of the Qatar National Vision 2030,” said Mr.  “We wish the participating workers all the best as they commit themselves to improve their English language skills, and we would also like to commend all the student volunteers who are contributing their valuable time and efforts for the continued success of this programme.’

The RAEL Program provides both an educational opportunity for workers who may have had limited schooling in their own countries, and a valuable service learning opportunity for the students and volunteers who will gain new teaching skills along with an understanding of different communities and their needs. The training course will cover a variety of topics to support the student volunteers in becoming full-fledged Literacy Trainers. The topics covered in the training will include teaching and learning, communication, and understanding the overall context of global migration.

First introduced in 2009, the RAEL Program was created primarily to develop the English literacy and language abilities of low-skilled migrant workers in Qatar. A key feature of the programme offers opportunities for young people in Qatar to take part in experiential service-learning, thus developing their skills and knowledge as RAEL Literacy Trainers and Champions.