The volunteers with ActionAid staff in Nepal.
DOHA: Nineteen students of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) recently embarked on a nine-day volunteer trip to Nepal for a Reach Out To Asia (Rota) project that supports the role of schools in disaster risk reduction.
Supported by Vodafone Qatar, the trip offers a service opportunity for the volunteers to be exposed to social conditions, practise cross-cultural communication and expand skills.
“We believe in the impact volunteering and community service can have on the personal and professional development of young people and which is why we sponsor Rota’s international volunteer trips as part of our five-year partnership,” said Dana Haidan, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Vodafone Qatar.
Working in 22 villages in the Kailali district of western Nepal, the Vodafone Qatar-Rota partnership, through the disaster risk reduction project, has improved the lives of thousands of students and teachers in many schools since the initiative started in 2011.
The volunteers travelled to Tikapur in the district to participate in a 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 trips provide unique opportunities for Qatar-based volunteers to be exposed to the impact Rota programmes make in Asia and get involved in hands-on work.
“Volunteers commit themselves to an exhausting programme of activities but in the end enjoy gaining from a rewarding and fulfilling experience,” said Rota Volunteer Programme Manager, George Tavola.
The volunteer program has been taking volunteers on life-changing experiences to countries in Asia for eight years, to support 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-hit areas.
“The Rota-HBKU partnership provides an 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 programme and look forward to applying this knowledge in Doha,” said HBKU Campus Life Coordinator, Evan Witt.