More than 2,000 people, comprising students, their family members and friends, attended Qatar Academy’s seventh annual fund raising event Quack Fest (Qatar’s Ultimate Arts, Culture and Kreativity Festival) yesterday.
The fund-raising campaign was launched by Qatar Academy (QA) students in November 2005 in remembrance and in support of a fund to honour teacher Jon Adams who was killed during an explosion that had hit the Doha Players theatre earlier that year.
Since then, QA students have been volunteering in programmes to help raise money for many other causes, thus touching many lives.
Around 400 students and staff members, including Middle Year Programme co-ordinator Chad Schwaberow and Grades 6-8 Community and Service co-ordinator Lorelei Loveridge, put the event together.
Highlights of the fundraiser were games and a centre stage featuring talent shows and acts by students.
There were food vendors, table top sales of many items ranging from cup cakes to home decor, toys, tapestries and books.
The event’s proceeds will be donated toward developing a number of projects and initiatives by the QA students.
One project that will be benefiting from the fund-raising effort is a community school project called Eravur Educational Development Institute (EEDI) in Eravur community, Sri Lanka, which was started by QA’s students in 2009.
Since its inception, EEDI has been making significant improvements in the lives of the residents of Eravur. QA supports some 250 students to attend educational programmes focusing on English language and information technology classes.
“Our project for the Eravur community is called the Eravur Project which has helped rent a classroom where some 250 students are studying. Our objective is to build a two-storey block for the school,” QA grade 12 student Daniel Castillo, the president of a team of 32 students assisting to raise funds for the initiative, said yesterday.
He explained that the group was helping to sell bricks, each valued between QR100 and 500, needed to build the school.
“As soon as we are able to sell enough bricks that will make up the building, our mission to build the Eravur school will be complete,” he said pointing to a model structure of the school building.
The team, which has so far raised around QR52,000 of the budgeted QR100,000 needed to construct the school, received pledges from potential donors during the Quack Fest yesterday.
Another project, “Laptops for Workers”, which will benefit from the fundraiser, is an initiative by QA’s students to collect, repair and recycle damaged laptops and present them to workers needing hem.
Already, some 80 workers have been benefited through the programme.
“Our programme is providing opportunities for workers to enhance their knowledge and understanding of the computer world and with this tool, access to information. We believe workers need to connect with their families after work in order to enhance their general well-being which, in turn, impact their job satisfaction,” programme advisor Steve Parenteau said.
He explained that the programme had also helped students to better appreciate the “gift of support lent to Qatar” by the workers while learning about cultures beyond Qatar.
“Our students are sharing their knowledge of computers with others and they are also sharing a bit of their educational experience and as such we grow together as a community, helping one another,” Parenteau, who is also the QA senior school counsellor, added.
Senior school principal Mike Hitchman said the event was becoming bigger and more popular each year.
“This is a wonderful event for the school as it is a nice thing to bring the whole community together - seeing the students, their families and friends enjoy the ambience together is really wonderful,” he said.
He hopes that the event would raise more than QR83,000 that was realised last year.
This year’s Quack Fest was sponsored by Cafe Ceramique, Subway, Family Computers, Sodexo, Control P Qatar, Ds Cupcakes, Johnny Rockets and Draieh Logistics Services Company.
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