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Posted On: 13 March 2009 01:50 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Spurring young minds to make a difference

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A fourteen-year-old student from Arizona inspired hundreds in attendance during the opening of the first EduCare Global Issues Symposium yesterday at the American School of Doha (ASD). Austin Gutwein, the first featured speaker of the event, amazed students and teachers from eight countries as he talked about his initiative called ‘Hoops of Hope’. The said campaign, raised more than $450,000 to build a school and a medical testing facility and provide food, clothing and shelter for children orphaned by AIDS in Zambia. Gutwein said he was motivated to start his project five years ago after having been touched by the story of an orphan named Maggie, but never expected he would effect a big change in the lives of many children thousands of miles away from his hometown. “When you help change someone else’s life, it changes yours. You don’t need to change the world, just change the world for one,” was the message he imparted to the participants. He also said children can help other children. Many of the attendees saw the urgency of helping out in making a difference in the current state of global affairs with children facing many challenges in their young age. “This conference is very important. I think our world is not in a good state right now, we should do something to help,” said Chris Harding, a participant from Cairo American College. Greta Madgwick, Qatar Communications Manager of HSBC, the sponsor of the conference, stressed on the significance of investing in education to create more impact to the world in her speech at the opening ceremony. The conference includes inspirational speakers from all over the world and break-out sessions to challenge students and teachers to “Be the Change” in their school, community, and the world around them. Pressing issues to be discussed include climate change, environmental concerns, cultural exchange, and leadership-building projects. It is being organised by EduCare, a group composed of ASD and schools in the NESA region, committed to making a difference in environmental and global education through collaborative activities. “This is a turning point for the lives of educators and participating students to experience and learn from experts and peers ways of turning their awareness into action and help make a difference in their global community,” said Adam Dodge, Co-Founder of EduCare. The opening ceremony also saw a scintillating performance by the ASD Chamber Singers.