Qatar-based charity Reach Out To Asia (Rota) is organising a three-day youth conference for promoting personal leadership, service learning and global citizenship as part of its new strategy for its Qatar Programme (ROTAQ).
“EMPOWER 2009”, the first annual youth conference to mark the launch of Rota’s new Youth Development Programme in Qatar will take place on May 7-9 and is primarily aimed at mobilising and inspiring leadership and civic responsibility among Qatar’s youth, through service learning.
Students in the age group of 14-24 years, teachers, education officials and lecturers will gather at the Sheraton Hotel in Doha, for the first conference of its kind in Qatar. “EMPOWER 2009” will aim to give a voice to the youth, raise awareness and build knowledge and capacity that will enable young people to take leadership roles in addressing local and international development issues.
A televised inter-school debate led by six students will be the starting point of “EMPOWER 2009”. The session will be facilitated by Qatar Debates and students will argue for and against a motion of critical importance to young people in Qatar.
The main conference will follow on the second day, with a series of lectures and workshops delivered by renowned local and international speakers, youth-led roundtable discussions and artistic expressions.
The delegates will have the opportunity to give something back to their community on the third day, by taking part in a series of off-site community service projects, including visiting children patients at Hamad Hospital, renovating a house for a less fortunate family and producing a short film on a youth issue.
Personal leadership, service learning and global citizenship are the main themes of the conference.
The conference follows a focus group discussion held last February at Rota and attended by 29 students from five universities and four secondary schools. As a result, a Youth Advisory Board was formed that is helping Rota in investigating the needs and perceptions of young people in Qatar with regard to their role in the community and world at large.
“We are so proud that Rota is organising such a unique conference. It is the first of its kind in Qatar as it will be led and facilitated by our youth. A group of students, our Youth Advisory Board, was on our side from the beginning, sharing their views and ideas with ROTAQ, in order to make this conference a reality. We have a lot to learn from the youth; all we need is to give them the opportunity” said Reima al-Daghma, the community development department manager at Rota, at a press conference also attended by Alberta Stevens, Head of Rota Qatar here yesterday.
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