LOS ANGELES /QATAR – March 21, 2017: Qatar Foundation International (QFI) partnered with the National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC) to bring together students from Qatar and the United States for the 28th annual National Service Learning Conference (NSLC) at Disneyland.
Students were selected through QFI’s and NYLC’s service learning exchange program, YALLAH Commit to Action (YALLAH C2A). Over the course of four months, YALLAH C2A trained, mentored and supported an international cohort of young people. The end goal was to collaborate and complete service projects set on achieving the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Students presented their community service projects at a live virtual showcase that took place in Doha, Qatar on February 26. Projects presented to judges included “Saving the Planet, One Step at a Time,” “Quality Education: Youth Engagement,” “Hope through Hygiene among Homeless in Portland,” “Gender Inequality in Sports,” “Saving the Turtles of the Gulf,” and “Service for Workers.”
Lina Draidia, a student at Al Bayan Secondary Independent School for Girls, Doha said, “Being part of C2A has been a life-changing experience. It has given me an amazing opportunity to make a difference to the lives of other young people….I think that allowing the youth to develop these projects is a marvelous idea because we are the same age as the people we are trying to help and we have so much in common with them.”
“We are very proud of our students and their commitment to addressing global issues through service-learning and our ongoing partnership with NYLC,” said Maggie Mitchell Salem, executive director of QFI. “These exchanges offer students and educators a chance to reach beyond their classroom and their community to develop cross-cultural and critical thinking skills that are essential in an increasingly interdependent world.”
During the conference, students will attend workshops to learn more about service-learning and youth empowerment. Additionally, the 11 students will lead their own workshops, and take part in educational and cultural tours of Anaheim and Los Angeles throughout the week. The conference culminates with a day of service—students and teachers will participate in community service throughout Anaheim, give back to the host community, connect with nonprofits in the area and hear from community leaders.