Doha, Qatar, 25 April 2018: In collaboration with Qatar University, Education Above All (EAA) Foundation, through its programme Reach Out to Asia (ROTA), led eighteen student volunteers on a service learning trip to Indonesia from 5-14 April. In partnership with a local NGO called Titian Foundation, volunteers facilitated skills development workshops in a school in the village of Bayat in the Indonesian province of Yogyakarta in Central Java.
The Indonesia 2018 QU Trip built on the success of previous ROTA Volunteer Trips to Indonesia, by providing a series of student-led workshops and activities that helps them develop their practical and physical skills, and to engage in meaningful and sustainable service learning in a rural community.
A major aim of the trip was to raise the student volunteers’ awareness of the value and benefits of volunteerism and service learning in contributing to community development. Cross-cultural learning and the intrinsic link between education and effective long-term development are also central themes of the programme.
Through its International Volunteer Trips Programme, ROTA aims to improve and enhance the skills and knowledge of its volunteers through hands-on field work and experiential learning, while increasing their awareness of the importance of education in addressing community developmental needs.
During the 9-day trip, 18 Qatar University student volunteers facilitated workshops covering topics such as Computer Skills, Arabic Language, Environmental Awareness, and Sports Education. Each workshop was planned, prepared and facilitated by the QU student volunteers and delivered to a classes of around 30 students (9-12 year olds) at the SD Muhammadiyah PK in Bayat, Yogyakarta.
ROTA has organized almost forty International Volunteer Trips over the last ten years for volunteers from schools, universities and corporates in countries such as Indonesia, Cambodia, Nepal, Bangladesh and Tunisia.
'At ROTA, our International Volunteer Trips to areas in need form a key pillar of our mission to promote education and build a culture of volunteerism. This Indonesia 2018 Volunteer Trip in collaboration with Qatar University is a perfect example of service learning. By putting the emphasis on volunteers transferring real skills that they themselves have learnt in their studies has long term benefits for both them and the local student beneficiaries. This approach is particularly effective in ensuring cross-cultural understanding and interpersonal communication as well as increasing self-awareness,” said Mr. Mohammed Saleh, National Programs Director at ROTA programme.
From his part, Mr. Khalifa Mohammed Al Yafie, Senior Volunteer Programme Specialist at the Volunteering and Community Service center at Qatar University, stated:
“At Qatar University, we aim to provide innovative and collaborative learning opportunities through extracurricular non-academic and interactive activities that enrich and help promote planning, teamwork, effective communication and leadership skills. The management of the community service and educational trips for students, strikes as part of the service learning program of the Qatar University Volunteer Center. The programme aims at promoting the concept of social responsibility among students and enhancing the value of education, by engaging in activities that serve both the local and international communities.
The ROTA Volunteer Program will be coordinating several other trips in 2018, Such trips contribute to exposing locally based volunteers to ROTA projects around Asia, understanding the needs of underprivileged communities in other countries and fostering a spirit of volunteerism and community service in Qatar.