As the Sandstormers, Qatar’s only charity cycling team, makes their final preparations for a 650km ride across four European countries in one week, the team’s beneficiary, the Sheikh Eid Charity Association’s Beitak Beiti initiative makes arrangements to bring basic comforts to 200 homes in Qatar.
The team of 16 amateur cyclists will cycle more than 100km a day travelling along the Danube River from Budapest to Munich. Thanks to the generous donations of their corporate sponsors, Vodafone Qatar, Qatar Airways, RasGas Company Limited (RasGas) and QShield along with the contributions of family and friends, the team has secured a cumulative sum of approximately QAR 180,000 approaching their target of QAR 200,000. The funds raised will go to the Beitak Beiti (Your House is My House) initiative to support 200 disadvantaged families in Qatar with basic household necessities to lead a decent life in Qatar.
The Sandstormers will represent Qatar at the Global Biking Initiative which brings together more than 400 cyclists from 25 countries for an annual charity ride across Europe in the summer. Each country team is required to raise a minimum amount of funds for worthy causes in their home countries. The team, led by Qatari national Marouf Mahmoud, started their journey on Monday, June 15th.
“We’re very pleased to be supporting Beiti Baitak once again this year. While we have challenged ourselves by doubling our pledge to QAR 200,000 this year, we have been humbled by our generous sponsors’ support and the returning in-kind support of Qatar Airways and Vodafone Qatar,” said Mahmoud.
The Sandstormers are the only charity cycling team in Qatar that is sponsored by Qatar Airways. This year, the national airline is supporting the team’s travel arrangements to and from Europe. Vodafone Qatar has also been a regular sponsor of the Sandstormers since the team’s early days in 2012. This year, it is providing GPS and GSM telecommunications solutions to guide them on their cycling journey as well as team gear.
“The Beitak Beiti touches the lives of 200 families of Qatar’s community from all nationalities. While the Sandstormers team is relatively small, I am once again overwhelmed by the amount of funds their team is able to raise this year which will reach QAR 200,000,” said Mr. Mohammed Hassan Al-Ibrahim, Manager of Sheikh Eid Social and Cultural Centre at Sheikh Eid Charitable Association.
The basic necessities provided by Beitak Beiti include refrigerators, air conditioners and safe cooking stoves and are distributed to families of all nationalities residing in Qatar. Direct donations to the initiative can be made through the association’s website: www.eidcharity.net
Mahmoud added: “Raising such a large sum for charity is a challenge which has brought out a lot of creativity among the team. We have doubled in size this year and now have four Qatari nationals on the team; our partnership with Sheikh Eid Charitable Foundation for the second consecutive year strengthens our roots in the Qatari community and we look forward to reaching our pledged sum and coming back to deposit the funds in full very soon.’’
In 2012, the Sandstormers raised QR 36,000 for Reach Out To Asia in support of scholarships in Kirali, Nepal. The following year, the team quadrupled its fundraising to achieve QAR163,000 in funds for Beitak Beiti.
QATAR AIRWAYS QUOTE
“The State of Qatar continues to nurture and produce sportspeople dedicated to competing on the world stage and to developing in their chosen professional field. It’s even more heartening to see some of our local athletes competing overseas for charity to support a very worthy cause back home. Qatar Airways remains proud of its long tradition of supporting local sportspeople and major sporting events and we all wish the Sandstormers the very best on their journey,” said Ehab Amin Qatar Airways Vice President Commercial – Qatar.
“Empowering employees and supporting their charity initiatives is one of our core values at Vodafone as part of our Vodafone Better World CSR programme. It has been very rewarding to see the Qatar Sandstormers steadily grow from a small group of Vodafone employees in 2012 to a full-fledged team of diverse community members who combine their passion for cycling with their passion for helping others. We wish them all the best on their upcoming journey and look forward to following them on the exciting cutting-edge Vodafone-powered technology we have provided for this ride,” said Dana Haidan, Head of CSR, Vodafone.
“RasGas has a long-standing relationship with the Sheikh Eid Charity Association and we are very pleased to be sponsoring the Sandstormers to further our support for a very worthy cause in Qatar. We are particularly proud to have two of our employees join the cycling team and take on this challenging journey across Europe in the name of charity,” said Ali Al-Marri, RasGas Public Affairs Manager.
“QShield is proud to sponsor the Sheikh Eid Charity Foundation’s Beitak Beiti initiative through partnering with the Qatar Sandstormers. Part of our CSR program is to help and develop the community in the aim to move the country to greater heights. We would like to thank the Qatar Sandstormers for their efforts and commitment towards this initiative,” said Said Ghazzi, Managing Director at QShield.
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