Encouraging employees and students to take time out of their busy schedules to give back to the community, is helping to change mindsets and behaviours across Qatar, while inspiring a culture of volunteerism and a nationwide social movement.

Qatar Foundation (QF) recently encouraged staff and students to volunteer at a number of local organisations across the country, during and after working hours, as part of the ‘Mercy in Giving’ campaign, a result of the inaugural Akhlaquna Award in 2017, launched by HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation.

Machaille Al Naimi, President of Community Development at QF, said they are delighted with the response that the campaign received.

Through this campaign, QF strives to encourage a social movement that will continue to build across the country, strengthening the very foundations of our society. Ultimately, we want the act of volunteering to become the norm, rather than the exception. And in order to achieve this, we believe it is important to start at home, at Qatar Foundation.’

‘Mercy in Giving’ aims to create a movement that unites various educational, health, and social sectors in an effort to tackle specific issues within society. To achieve this goal, QF organised daily trips to participating centres during the two-week campaign, while encouraging individuals to volunteer at local entities of their choice.

Aisha J Al Kaabi, together with colleagues from QF, visited one of the charities involved in the initiative. She has previously volunteered with various entities.

Volunteering has been my passion since high school – it’s very easy to get wrapped up in the daily routine of work, so, for me, ‘Mercy in Giving’ served as a wonderful reminder as to why I volunteer, and reignited my desire to give back to the community.’

She added that they were worried that they would be emotional during the session. But instead, they ended up leaving with the biggest smiles on their faces. She said she’d like to do something more within the field.

‘Learning’ to Volunteer

As part of the campaign, volunteers attended workshops, learned more about the centres and their respective activities, helped staff members with their daily duties, and interacted with different groups of people – from children with special needs to the elderly.

First-time volunteer Fatima Al Anssari said she has never volunteered before.

I loved the experience. I was able to work with incredibly intelligent children and, through the visit, I met new people, worked within a different field, and, more importantly, gave back to the community.’

Ryan Moignard also took part in the campaign and pointed out the importance of the initiative.

I have a genuine desire to continue contributing and supporting our community care institutes. Not only do such initiatives enhance social cohesion, but they are also fulfilling for the volunteers.’

‘Mercy in Giving’ was conceptualised by the winner of the inaugural Akhlaquna Award, Swar Al Dahab Ali. One of three finalists selected from over 100 applications, last year’s edition of the initiative was designed to honour individuals who best embody the values of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), such as generosity, tolerance, mercy, and honesty.

For more information about ‘Mercy in Giving’, visit akhlaquna.qa.