Reach Out to Asia (ROTA), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), and Msheireb Properties, a subsidiary of QF, honored volunteers and Digital Champions from their landmark ‘Better Connections’ program. Initiated by ictQATAR, the project aims to educate low-income workers in Qatar by teaching them essential Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills.
As a member of QF, ROTA works towards empowering human capabilities to foster a progressive and sustainable society in-line with the Human and Social Development Pillars of the Qatar National Vision 2030.
Since ROTA joined the Better Connections program at the beginning of April 2015, 65 volunteers from the local community have been trained by ROTA to educate workers in various locations in Qatar. The volunteers have visited worker accommodations across Doha and helped to train more than 300 Digital Champions in basic computer and internet communication skills.
These Digital Champions, who will be training the low skilled migrant workers on computer skills, have been educated and empowered to go into their community and transfer their skills to other workers in need. Through this innovative cascade model of training, the program is expected to reach over 4,000 low-skilled workers in various companies in Qatar.
The Better Connections program is a national initiative by ictQATAR, organized in collaboration with ROTA, Sheikh Thani bin Abdullah Al-Thani Foundation for Humanitarian Services (RAF), and Microsoft Qatar. The program aims to bridge the digital gap and help migrant workers acquire key technical skills. ROTA’s activities are sponsored by Msheireb Properties.
At a special event to honor the volunteers and Digital Champions held on 30th December 2015, Arwa Musaaed, ROTA Program Manager, said: "I want to congratulate every volunteer and Digital Champion, and commend them for their vision and commitment in making the Better Connections program a reality. By training Digital Champions, we are not only providing key skills, but we are empowering them to share their knowledge and help shape their communities for the future. Hand-in-hand with our partners and volunteers, we will continue to support low-income workers in Qatar, helping them develop key skills and stay connected to the community."
Paul Gerhard, ROTA ICT and Technology Specialist, said: "We want to applaud the fantastic efforts of our volunteers in engaging and educating the migrant worker population in Qatar. The Better Connections program will have a huge impact on the lives of transient laborers and their families, providing crucial communication and IT skills."
Eng. Abdulla Hassan Al-Mehshadi, CEO of Msheireb Properties said: “We are honored to be collaborating with Reach Out ToAsia on such an important initiative. As an organization dedicated to the fulfillment of Qatar National Vision 2030, we fully endorse any activity that contributes to that goal. The development and enhancement of skills and the provision of support for all staff are synonymous with Msheireb, so to have the opportunity to promote this most vital of social functions is one we welcome with great enthusiasm. We are certain that the promotion and proliferation of these initiatives to transfer knowledge will have a hugely beneficial effect on our community and on Qatar’s Economy as a whole."
The Better Connections program is one of the largest public-private partnerships in Qatar focused on building the skills of low-income workers and providing them with access to the internet and other technologies. The initiative was first launched by ictQATAR in May 2014, inking MoUs with the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), QF, and CH2M HILL International B.V. (CH2M). In January 2015, additional MoUs were signed with ROTA, RAF, and Microsoft Qatar.
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