ROTA hosts reflection event for High School volunteers to Indonesia

4160After returning from a successful week-long community service trip to Indonesia, Reach Out To Asia (ROTA), Qatar’s leading non-profit organization, hosted a reflection event for the twenty four student volunteers from five different Independent Secondary schools at the HBKU Student Centre on May 14th, in the presence of the Ambassador of Indonesia to Qatar His Excellency Mr. Deddy Saiful Hadi.

The five secondary Girl-schools involved in this initiative were Amina Bint Wahab Independent Secondary, Al Bayan Independent Secondary School, Al Sailiya Secondary School, Al-Eman Secondary School, and Qatar Secondary School.

Opening the event, Mr. Mohammed Abdullah Saleh, Director of National Programs welcomed dignitaries, parents, volunteers as well as representatives from trip sponsor Vodafone, before he shared comments with the audience emphasizing the value of the volunteers’ work during such trips and encouraged them to continue working with ROTA to address community development in Qatar and abroad.

“From the feedback we received from both the volunteers and Indonesian students and teachers, we can confidently say that this was a highly successful trip. The ROTA volunteers made excellent role models, with the local students warmly accepting them. We know that this has been a life changing event, and we can use this experience as a model for future trips based on skill development for educational institutes in Asia,” said Mr. Mohammed Al-Naama.

Volunteers then were invited on stage to share their own experiences with the audience using short videos and presentations.

During their trip to Indonesia, the ROTA volunteers participated in a focused activity program featuring student-led activities in SDN1 Banyuripan Elementary School, workshops emphasizing sports for education, English language, art education and environmental awareness.

The volunteering group also collected a phenomenal 32,000 USD in donations to cover various project costs. They created a Computer Lab in three days, purchased learning materials for a local community centre and provided scholarships for 12 students. Besides this, volunteers were also involved in a number of cultural activities with the local community and learnt the intricate details of Batik Art.

“This was my first volunteer experience with ROTA and I already look forward to more volunteer activities. The trip organization was great and the team was amazing. The best part was getting to know the people and the culture of Indonesia and to work with the students. As much as we hope to have made an impact, they have certainly touched our lives and our hearts. I can still see their smiles, their tears and hear their little voices and big dreams. This was truly a memorable experience“, said ROTA volunteer Maryam Al Sorore.

Later, volunteers were presented with a Certificate of Participation by H.E. the Indonesian Ambassador, Ms. Dana Haidan, Head of CSR, Vodafone Qatar and Mr. Mohamed Abdulla Saleh. ROTA expressed a vote of thanks to all involved in the Indonesia volunteer trip and the event came to a joyful conclusion with a group photo featuring volunteers, ROTA staff, partners and guests.

“Thank you ROTA for granting us the privilege of experiencing in depth another part of the world and different types of people with all their concerns, dreams, smiles, tears and ambitions. After such a volunteer trip, we end up discovering the true essences of life; sharing and giving”, said ROTA Chaperon Afsar Khadri.

The ROTA Volunteer Program will be coordinating other trips in the future to various ROTA Projects across Asia. Such trips contribute to exposing locally based volunteers to ROTA projects around Asia, understanding the needs of underprivileged communities in other countries and fostering a spirit of volunteerism and community service among society in Qatar.

“Hosting a reflection event after visiting Indonesia enables ROTA volunteers to share experiences, reflect on the impact they made, understand the long term benefits of volunteering, and consider how best to continue their volunteering commitment in the future,” said ROTA’s National Programs Director, Mohamed Abdulla.

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