Qatar Red Crescent (QRC) has lately celebrated the graduation of the third batch of trainees in the Springboard programme, organised by QRC in cooperation with the British Council in Qatar and Springboard UK, for the goal of achieving professional, economic, and social empowerment of Qatari women.

The closing ceremony was attended by Rashid bin Saad Al Mohannadi, Director of QRC Social Development Department and Al Khor Branch, Manal Al Sulaiti, Head of QRC Community Development, Marwa Al Tanbouli, Springboard Program Manager at the British Council, and programme staff from QRC Community Development Section. Al Sulaiti said:

Springboard is a highly sophisticated professional development programme that provides housewives the opportunity to communicate and interact positively with different situations, set and pursue clear goals for themselves, and enhance significant skills such as self-confidence and balance between work and personal life.’

Lasting for three weeks at Millennium Hotel Doha, the course was attended by 18 women from poor families in Qatar. The programme comprises four workshops that provide the participants with practical training and activities in successful planning for their lives, prioritisation, orientation, perfection, teamwork, and building of positive relationships. They also meet with prominent figures from different walks of life, who share their success stories, the challenges they faced, and how they could overcome them. This can motivate them toward dedication, perseverance, and commitment to their goals. Such successful women constitute role models for the participants.

The programme is organised under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between QRC and the British Council. During its two last courses, the programme received 36 women from QRC-associated families, at a total cost of QR76,000. It is developed by two world’s top personal development consultants, Jenny Daisley and Liz Willis. Launched in Qatar in 2009 in cooperation with the Qatari Businesswomen Association, the programme awards certificates from Springboard UK and the British Council. According to Al Mohannadi, this programme is a product of cooperation with such a globally pioneering institution as the British Council, in line with the concept of partnership with civil society organisations toward the sustainable development of all segments of society, particularly women, who constitute one half of society and the maker of the second half.

Springboard is a women-centered programme that has won several global awards for enabling women in many countries of the world to have more appreciation and influence and attain their potential at work and in personal life. It serves many institutions, universities, government bureaus, ministries, municipalities, and banks, notably the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and HSBC Bank. The British Council translated it into Arabic to help Arabic-speaking women discover their capabilities and make better achievements, both personally and professionally.

Country Director, British Council in Qatar, Martin Hope, said:

The British Council works hard to build individual and institutional bridges between the UK and Qatar, through exchange of knowledge and ideas in various fields, including community partnerships. We are happy to partner with QRC in Springboard, which is an award-winner as the best women’s personal development programme, with its goals of empowering women to achieve their potential and improve their professional and personal lives.’

NQ, a trainee, thanked QRC for giving her the opportunity to participate in this course, which helped her to overcome life difficulties, fear, and helplessness. She said:

Actually, I have great aspirations, and this course strengthened my self-confidence and uncovered my underestimated creativity. I became able to survive hardships and understand things thoroughly. Now I allocate more time for myself. I feel much better, and I expanded my business thanks to God and my sisters in QRC. Thanks for all of you!’

Established in 1978, QRC is a humanitarian charitable organisation that aims to assist and empower vulnerable individuals and communities without partiality or discrimination. QRC is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which consists of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) in Geneva, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and 189 national societies. QRC is also a member of several Gulf, Arab, and Islamic assemblies, such as: the Islamic Committee of International Crescent and the Secretariat-General of the Arab Organization of Red Crescent and Red Cross. In this legally recognised capacity, QRC has access to disaster and conflict zones, thus serving as an auxiliary to the State of Qatar in its humanitarian efforts, a role that distinguishes it from other local charitable or philanthropic organisations.