Volunteer-led Workshops Promote Cross-Cultural Learning

Reach Out To Asia (ROTA) recently partnered with College of the North Atlantic – Qatar (CNA-Q) to send 14 students to Nepal as part of its International Volunteer Trips Program, which aims to build the capacity of volunteers in Qatar as well as youth and communities in Nepal and around Asia.


The student volunteers, along with two CNA-Q staff members, travelled with ROTA to the Nawalparasi District in Nepal to provide educational support to a ROTA-supported READ Nepal Community Center from December 15 – 23, 2016.


Essa Al Mannai, Executive Director, ROTA, said: “Our International Volunteer Trips Program aims to create a movement of volunteers and global citizens within Qatar who actively complement ROTA’s initiatives that positively impact youth and communities across Asia.”


“The program is a life-enriching experience that develops the skills of both our volunteers and its beneficiaries, ensuring they are able to manage challenges, maximize opportunities, and solve problems constructively,” Mr. Al Mannai added.


During their visit, ROTA and CNA-Q volunteers led daily peer-to-peer workshops at the local READ Nepal Community Center, toured the area and interacted with the local youth. The daily sessions helped youth from all 12 ROTA-supported READ Nepal Centers develop their interpersonal communication skills and promoted cross-cultural learning while empowering them to reach their potential.


The volunteer-led workshops were delivered to a total of 40 Nepali students over five days. The Nepali youth aged 18-24 were divided into groups of 10 and rotated on a daily basis. On the fifth day the volunteers and participants organized an exhibition and closing ceremony where the deliverables from the week were presented.


Fahad Al-Hedfa, a CNA-Q student volunteer, said: “This experience opened my eyes in so many ways. The workshops we delivered to the Nepali youth may seem insignificant in our eyes but to them I saw it meant the world, through the smiles that lit up their faces. I’m incredibly proud of myself and every single one of the CNA-Q/ROTA student volunteers. We did this expecting nothing in return and we did this because we had the chance to make the world a better place. I am very grateful to ROTA, CNA-Q and to Qatar for helping to provide the positive change this world needs.”


Allison Furlong, International Education Coordinator, CNA-Q, said: “We are grateful to ROTA for once again granting us this incredible opportunity. Service learning is a gift that keeps on giving, allowing our students to contribute to the lives of Nepali youth while learning about themselves in the process.”


ROTA’s International Volunteer Trips Program serves to create a link between the national and international initiatives of ROTA, a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), and to build the capacity of volunteers and partners by raising awareness, developing skills and increasing engagement.