Abdullatif Ali Al Yafei, (centre), General Manager of Al Faisal without Borders Foundation, addressing a press conference to announce the launch of ‘Destination ImagiNation’ at the Hilton Hotel Doha yesterday. With him are Ali Talal Al Marri, (right) Executive Director, ALF, and Renee Rainville, Project Manager, ALF. Kammutty V P
DOHA: A new international educational programme — Destination ImagiNation (DI) — was launched yesterday by AlFaisal Without Borders (Alf) Foundation
It is dedicated to the development and empowerment of the youth. Qatar is the first in the Middle East to launch this highly-effective and transformative programme.
Under the patronage of Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani’s Alf Foundation, the programme will be piloted in Qatar’s schools and present the richness of Qatari culture to more than 10,000 children and students.
It will ensure students have a head-start in life, by empowering them to set goals for the future and help develop their self-esteem, self-motivation and communications skills.
The programme takes place in 27 countries around the world with 125,000 schoolchildren and students taking part each year and an alumni of 1.5m to date.
Schoolchildren and students participate through their schools and the programme operates as an extra-curricular activity. Teams of up to seven people choose a challenge from five themes — technical, scientific, fine arts, improvisation and service learning. Over around three months, the teams meet up weekly out-of-school to work on their project and come up with creative solutions to the challenges they are given.
Teams then compete to take part in the National Finals, which will take place in Doha in April 2014 and teams which complete their challenges and score 75 percent or more, can qualify for the Global Finals in Nashville, Tennessee, the US in May 2014.
There, they will compete with teams from around the world for the first-place position.
Sheikh Faisal, “Continuing educational advancement is key to Qatar’s ongoing development and the empowerment of its young people in line with the National Vision. DI is a very effective educational programme with a proven track record around the world that will bring real benefits to our schoolchildren and students, equipping them with crucial skills to help them cope with today’s ever-changing world and become effective leaders and decisionmakers of tomorrow.”
Abdullatif Ali Al Yafei, General Manager of Alf, said: “It is a great milestone for Qatar to launch DI in our schools, and we hope to be piloting this international programme for the wider Middle East. The aims of DI reflect the vision of H E Sheikh Faisal when he established the foundation. This is to help improve the lives of those in Qatar and across the world by empowering them through education and social welfare initiatives and giving them necessary skills and qualifications so that they can play a positive role in the world.”