Media Library: Press Release

ROTA-HBKU student volunteers make a difference in Nepal
23 March 2014
Qatar’s pioneering non-profit educational organization, Reach Out To Asia (ROTA), is fostering the spirit of volunteerism in Qatar by partnering with Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) to send 19 student volunteers on a 9-day visit to a ROTA Project in Nepal that supports the role of schools in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). 
 
Supported by Vodafone Qatar, the trip offers a unique service opportunity for the student volunteers to be exposed to different social conditions, practice cross-cultural communication and expand their skills. 
 
“At Vodafone Qatar, we believe in the impact that volunteering and community service can have on the personal and professional development of young people which is why we sponsor ROTA’s International Volunteer Trips as part of our five-year partnership” said Dana Haidan, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Vodafone Qatar.
 
Working in 22 villages in the Kailali District of western Nepal, the Vodafone Qatar-ROTA partnership, through the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) project, has improved the lives of thousands of students and teachers in many schools since the initiative started in 2011.
 
Departing Doha on 28th February, the ROTA-HBKU student volunteers travelled to Tikapur in the far western Kailali District to participate in a focused program featuring service activities in the Saraswarti Secondary School, cultural visits, and daily student-led reflection sessions. School service activities included facilitating computer classes, designing and creating a three-dimensional library and building a boundary wall to protect the school from rising flood waters from a nearby river. 
 
“ROTA’s international volunteer trips provide unique opportunities for Qatar-based volunteers to be exposed to the significant impact ROTA programs make around Asia and actually get involved in hands-on work on the ground. Volunteers commit themselves to an exhausting program of activities over the trip but, in the end, enjoy gaining from an immensely rewarding and fulfilling experience,” said ROTA Volunteer Program Manager, Mr. George Tavola.
 
The ROTA Volunteer Program has been taking groups of volunteers on life-changing experiences to countries around Asia for eight years, with the aim of supporting multiple projects that empower ROTA’s mission of providing high quality and relevant primary and secondary education, encourage relationships among communities, create safe learning environments and restore education in disaster affected areas across Asia. 
 
“This ROTA-HBKU partnership provides an incredible opportunity for student volunteers to work with the local community in Nepal and learn about the value of education, interact with another culture, and understand how to contribute to service in a global context. We are proud of this program and look forward to applying this knowledge back in Doha”, added HBKU Campus Life Coordinator, Mr. Evan Witt.
 
After returning from Nepal, the student volunteers will attend a Reflection Event where they will come together to discuss and share their Nepal experience with the HBKU community. In addition, ROTA and HBKU will seek to maintain the momentum of their partnership by exploring opportunities to continue engaging with this group of volunteers in order to maintain a link with the school served in Nepal.
 
For more information about Reach Out To Asia’s projects in Nepal and 10 other Asian countries, visit www.reachouttoasia.org or the ROTA Facebook page, www.facebook.com/reachouttoasia

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