Empower 2012 delegates take part in service activities
TRIBUNE NEWS NETWORK
DOHA THE 350 delegates who attended the three-day Reach Out To Asia’s (ROTA) Empower 2012 Youth Conference rounded up the event on Monday by participating in a series of half-day service learning activities with a mix for sports and environmental activities.
The activities demonstrated ROTA’s commitment to the Global Youth Service Day and Earth Day.
“For the fourth successive year, Empower has given hundreds of young people the skills, knowledge and confidence to take leadership roles in addressing local and international issues of concern to them, especially in the areas of sustainable development and sports,” said ROTA Director Essa al Mannai.
The delegates participated in one of four half-day service learning activities organised by the ROTA volunteer department.
Emphasising the key themes of the meet, two activities were connected to sports development while two were organised in support of Earth Day 2012.
‘Sports as a Tool for Education’, facilitated by world leading NGO ‘Right to Play’, saw 80 youth visit Qatar Sports Club to participate in fun-filled sporting activities to demonstrate the connection between sports and other forms of learning, and how sports help develop life skills such as communication, team building and problem solving.
The delegates took part in an interactive day with children with special needs from Rumailah Hospital’s Special Education Centre. The participants spent quality time with these children to embrace them as equally integrated members of the community.
Up to 70 delegates visited the Al Asima Plastic Factory in Doha’s Industrial Area to experience first-hand how the city recycles its waste. After hearing how to integrate ‘the 3Rs’ (reduce, reuse, recycle) into everyday life, the delegates participated in sorting different types of recyclable items, and learnt to recognise the importance of protecting and sustaining the environment.
Continuing Empower’s environmental theme, 75 delegates strengthened their team building and problem solving skills by painting, gardening, cleaning and repairing Rumailah Hospital’s Special Education Centre as part the school beautification project.
“In order to develop their physical and psychological abilities, recovering children must have a warm and positive environment where they can feel optimistic and happy. The work undertaken by the delegates will remain in the Special Education Centre and benefit countless children in the coming years,” said Mohamed Abdulla Saleh, community development manager at ROTA.
After completing the four activity sessions, the delegates expressed their thoughts and experiences in an artistic reflective learning session followed by a series of cultural performances and an amazing closing ceremony.
Reflecting the passion of the youth for tackling global environmental issues, one of the most important outputs to emerge from the conference is a statement of GCC youth recommendations to be presented by Qatar youth at the 6th World Youth Congress Rio +20 debate in Brazil later this year. Rio+20 marks the 20th anniversary since the 1992 Earth Summit which also took place in Rio and pushed forward the sustainable development agenda on an international scale.
One of the success stories of Empower 2012 was the participation of youths from neighbouring GCC countries including Saudi Arabia, Yemen, the UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait, as well as Japan for the first time.
“There is a direct link between the wellbeing of youth and the social and economic progress of a country. We are proud that Qatar takes its responsibilities for the education and personal development of youth seriously and I hope ROTA continues to make investing in young people a priority”, said Mannai.
“We’re thrilled with the success of Empower 2012, now an internationally recognised youth conference that shares ROTA’s values in recognising youth as agents of change and the leaders of tomorrow.”