Qatar’s pioneering not-for-profit educational organization Reach Out To Asia (ROTA) is fostering the spirit of volunteerism in Qatar by partnering with the College of the North Atlantic Qatar (CNA-Q) to send 30 student and faculty volunteers on a 9-day trip to visit a ROTA-funded non-formal vocational education project in Bangladesh.
The Bangladesh 2012 Volunteer Trip follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by ROTA and CNA-Q in 2011 to promote mutual, educational development and service cooperation, specifically a tailored international service learning trip for CNA-Q student and faculty volunteers.
Departing Doha on 27th April, the ROTA-CNAQ volunteers will participate in a focused activity programme featuring student-led activities in four non-formal centers of education, construction activities at two centers in Ukhiya district and three faculty-led teacher training workshops.
“Our activity programme is designed to immerse the students in the local culture and ensure they benefit from a positive learning experience throughout the visit, while also leaving time to enjoy their visit to Bangladesh,” said George Tavola, ROTA Head of Volunteer Program.
In partnership with Muslim Aid, ROTA’s work in Bangladesh focuses on improving access to education and vulnerable families in the Cox’s Bazaar district in southeast Bangladesh.
After initially supporting relief efforts in the aftermath of Cyclone Sidr which devastated the region in 2007, ROTA demonstrated its long-term commitment to improving the quality of education facilities for the Cox’s Bazaar community by investing in project funding to provide adequate classroom spaces with clean water latrines.
ROTA’S Bangladesh project provides non-formal education for children, livelihood skill for youths and adults, as well as the construction of a vocational training center that will serve three important community purposes: a vocational training center for local skills, disaster risk reduction training, and a cyclone shelter.
“At CNAQ we are inspired by the conviction that volunteerism is a powerful means ofengaging people in tackling development challenges worldwide. Our volunteers are excited to have an extraordinary opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of people in Bangladesh,” said Candace Jesson, CNQA- Coordinator International Education.
“The ROTA-CNAQ volunteers visiting Bangladesh have a wonderful opportunity to participate in a project that is shaping the futures of many young people in Cox’s Bazaar. We look forward to hearing about their experiences when they return home,” said Mohammed Abdulla Saleh, ROTA Community Development Manager
After returning from Bangladesh, the volunteers and supporters will be invited to a Reflection Event where they will come together to discuss, reflect on and share their Bangladesh experiences with others.
In addition, CNAQ and ROTA will seek to maintain the momentum of their partnership by exploring opportunities to publicise the volunteers’ trip reflections to their CNA-Q peers and the wider community, as well as advocating for the needs of students in Bangladesh through Qatar-based activities.
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