Posted on June 06, 2011

Language Bridges, an initiative part of Vodafone’s World of Difference programme that offers free basic English literacy courses for migrant workers in Qatar, held a graduation ceremony for the programme’s students.

At the ceremony held at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMUQ), certificates were presented to 100 students from 6 nationalities (Sri Lankan, Nepali, Filipino, Indian, Bangladeshi, and Egyptian) that had successfully completed the programme. In addition, certificates of appreciation were awarded to 22 volunteer teachers and to community partners such as United Development Company (UDC) as well as to behind-the-scenes supporters who helped with the programme’s logistics and preparation.

During the ceremony volunteer teachers and learners spoke movingly about how the programme had made a positive impact on their lives.

Julie Zawadzki, Language Bridges’ Programme Director said, “It brings me great joy to see the students who have worked very hard complete the programme and graduate. Language Bridges is a real team effort and I am delighted that we have been able to bring together everyone involved for this really memorable occasion. I would like to thank Vodafone for supporting the programme from the start. This evening has been really memorable for everyone involved the project, and we really appreciate the generosity of Carnegie Mellon in hosting the first ever Language Bridges graduation ceremony, which we hope will become an annual event”.

The participating students in the programme included workers from UDC who were given some lessons by CMUQ’s own students.

Commenting on CMUQ’s involvement in the programme Dr Silvia Pessoa, Teaching Professor, Liberal & Social Sciences at CMUQ said, "We are very proud of everyone who participated in Language Bridges, especially the Carnegie Mellon Qatar students who acted as teachers. The programme allowed them to use their knowledge to contribute to the Doha community while developing their leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills.  Beyond teaching and learning English, the classroom experience provided an opportunity to bridge cultures and boundaries’.

“UDC is always on the lookout for innovative programmes that empower our workers and improves their quality of life. The results have been positive, making us proud to collaborate with ‘Language Bridges’ for the literacy courses, and are looking forward to continue our partnership beyond this season,” said Carey White, UDC’s General Manager of Human Resources

Language Bridges kicked off its first season in October 2010 and has so far delivered courses to over 120 students via volunteer teachers from CMUQ and Cornell Weill Medical School.  The eight-week after-work courses are specially designed to address the needs of migrant workers in Qatar and are normally run in the workers’ camps. To learn more about the programme, visit or Language Bridges Qatar Facebook page