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Posted On: 16 March 2018 08:10 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:18 pm

EMPOWER 2018 gets underway under the theme ‘Youth and Effective Citizenship’

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Education Above All (EAA) Foundation’s programme, Reach Out to Asia (ROTA), held the inauguration of “Empower Youth Conference 2018” at the Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) Student Center, today, in the presence of His Excellency the Minister of State Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kuwari, and Mr. Mutaz Aissa Barsham, Qatar’s World Champion in the Olympic high jumper. The event was attended by more than 450 young people between the ages of 16-32, including international participants.

‘EMPOWER 2018’ intends to promote a better understanding of youth leadership, service learning and Global Citizenship, under the theme ‘Youth and Effective Citizenship’. The conference aligns with the Qatar National Vision 2030 that focuses on youth development as one of its key pillars.

In its 10th edition, the main aim of the 3-day conference is to raise awareness and knowledge as well as build the capacities required to enable young people to take leadership roles in addressing local and international developmental issues of concern to them. They will be able to discover their voice and build their knowledge, skills, and experiences, towards creating positive change for themselves and their communities, as well as effectively contribute to the progress and prosperity of their nations.

The three-day event will include a combination of panel discussion, keynote speeches, workshops, seminars, off-site activities, exhibition, social programme and youth cultural expression.

Speaking on the occasion, His Excellency the Minister of State Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kuwari, said:

“I am also pleased to pay tribute to the ‘Reach out to Asia’ Program, operating under Education Above All Foundation, and this initiative providing the opportunity for ideas and dialogue regarding youth empowerment and development issues in our countries to be put forward so that we can secure a common platform for the exchange of expertise and experiments in these changing times where a renewed awareness about the importance of effective citizenship in the progress of our societies is required. The convening of the ROTA Conference comes at an important historical stage in the life of both the leadership and the people of the State of Qatar. It is a phase that has translated into practical terms the values we seek to entrench among our youth, namely the values of allegiance, loyalty to the homeland and readiness to defend it. Our young people have been quick to express their loyalty and the exercise of their citizenship through their positive interaction with the leadership's orientations and their expression of a rational behavior that reflected their faith in a culture promoting peace and rejecting hatred as well as their openness to the world more than ever before so that Qatar has become a model of coexistence and an incubator for the world’s cultures. Our young people have demonstrated their understanding of what I call 'universal or global citizenship' in addition to their belongings to the homeland.''

From his part, Mr. Essa Al Mannai, Executive Director of ROTA Programme, said:

“I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to the management for its belief in youth, the vision, valuable support and dedication. A word of special thanks goes out to the youth for their thoughts and hard work to plan and execute EMPOWER for 10 years, as well as ROTA’s staff commitment and hard work and great deliverables for all previous editions of EMPOWER.”

“We see EMPOWER 2018 as an opportunity to realise youth potential for positive change, to create a platform for youth voice and to provide them the opportunities that would help them realise their full potential and empower the youth to become agents of change of the status quo and to make a positive contribution in society to support Qatar’s National Vison 2030 on youth development. I am confident that during these three days, we all will strive to promote a better understanding of youth priority issues that will develop in them a sense of leadership, service learning, and greater awareness of global issues. I strongly believe that such an august gathering of our youth will facilitate a forum for exchange of ideas, projects and reflections that address local needs and global issues, while promoting respect, responsibility across cultures, countries and regions,” he added.

Addressing the conference, the researcher Mohamed Al Hashmi, organization ROTA Youth, said:

“EAA believes in the empowerment of youth to become capable and productive citizens. To achieve this, ROTA seeks to achieve several aims through the EMPOWER Conference: facilitate a forum for exchange of ideas, projects and reflections that address local needs and global issues, equip participants with the tools and knowledge needed to enable them as loyal, and active citizens with a positive outlook toward service, and increase awareness of leadership.”

EMPOWER 2018 will provide a platform for youth from different countries to network with the youth of Qatar as well as serve as an excellent opportunity to learn from each other’s best practices. The event will be a unique platform for youth to discover their voice, realize their potential, develop their skills, understanding and attitudes to take on active leadership roles within their communities and make a positive change.

Empowering youth in Qatar and the region to make positive change in their communities and globally compliments EAA’s focus on empowering youth to become active members of their communities.