Posted on December 26, 2010

World of Difference, the flagship programme of the Vodafone Qatar Foundation that enables people to dedicate a year of their lives to helping others, is celebrating 8 successful months of making a world a difference to communities across Qatar. After the initial three months of setting up the projects, the projects are now in a sustainable phase and the results are making an impact in the local communities. Vodafone World of Difference connects passionate people to a local need, providing financial support so they can complete a project that will make a sustained difference to the lives of others. Launched in April 2010, Vodafone Qatar World of Difference is giving four individuals a unique opportunity – to work for a local charity or community project of their choice for one year, with financial support from the Vodafone Qatar Charitable Fund.

Volunteers spend one year changing the lives of others

Mohamed Kamal, a 21-year-old Qatari student, reaches out to disadvantaged families in the Najaa area and engages Education City students with the struggles of those families. Recently, Mohamed organized a photo exhibition to raise awareness on this topic at the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Georgetown University and Virginia Commonwealth University. To learn more, visit  Mohamed’s blog Giovanni Espinal is a Colombian/American teacher at Qatar University who is using funds from Vodafone World of Difference to teach ‘survival English’ to labourers – providing information so that workers are able to report an accident, understand their rights and the culture of Qatar. In just a few months, almost 100 students of six different nationalities have graduated from Giovanni’s classes.  To learn more, visit Giovanni’s blog at Another World of Difference project in Qatar is run by Margaret Gigliotti, an American fitness teacher who runs ‘Girls on the Go’, an after school program which educates and prepares girls in mind, body and spirit for a lifetime of healthy living.  Already 94 students from Qatar Academy, Doha College and Compass International American Schools, and 22 volunteers have enrolled to become ‘Girls On The Go’To learn more, visit Julie Zawadzki’s project, Language Bridges, aims to deliver free basic English courses to migrant workers who cannot afford private classes.

Since its launch, over 120 employees have attended Julie’s classes taught by volunteer teachers and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) students. Courses take place in labor camps or in training facilities provided by partner organizations. To learn more, visit Starting in New Zealand in 2003, more than 700 people will have undertaken 100 World of Difference projects to positively impact the lives of thousands of people in 30 countries by the end of 2010. Luisa Gentile, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility said “Vodafone’s World of Difference Programme is an innovative approach that scores highly versus a traditional grant-giving or philanthropic approach. It is a first-time initiative in Qatar which is leading the way to a different way of doing charity; not by donating money, but by sustaining people to fulfil their charitable project for one year. We hope we managed to be the enabler in connecting people with communities to make world of difference for all people in Qatar.” -ENDS-