Qatar’s students participated in a humanitarian campaign to support Afghan children who had been recently evacuated from their war-torn country.
Students from Qatar Academy Doha launched a heart-felt initiative to help Afghan children overcome challenges to education as the academic year kicks starts.
Grade 5 students at the school, which is part of Qatar Foundation’s Pre-University Education, have donated school supplies, including bags, pens, and various school materials to Afghan refugee students staying in Qatar after political escalations forced them to drop out of their schools.
“When we have a lot, we must share it with others and give them what they need, in order to bring some joy to their lives and alleviate their pain, especially for children,” Mohammed bin Jassim Al Thani, an 11-year-old student at QAD said explaining why he contributed in this humanitarian campaign.
“I have always believed in the value of giving and its importance in enhancing our human feelings; now we have an opportunity to achieve this, by donating and helping children who do not have much due to events beyond their control, and to always be by their side to support them in these trying times.
“I am delighted to be a member of such a giving and supporting country, and I encourage all people in Qatar to donate and participate.”
The fifth-grader encouraged all kids his age to contribute to this initiative by wrapping school supplies and sending them as gifts to Afghan refugee children in Qatar to draw a smile on their faces.
“I tried to put myself in their shoes and understand how they feel, and I imagined that I would be delighted if someone gave me such a present,” another QAD student Najla Boussoufa said.
“Everything we give to the world comes back to us in some manner, and I am grateful to be able to donate and contribute to bringing some relief to the refugees who are suffering. We hope they will be happy when receiving these presents, as they depart Qatar for their new homes”, she added.
Another classmate, Abdullah Muhammad Sultan, said he participated in this campaign to help these children continue their studies and bring joy to their lives.
“When I heard about this initiative, I wanted to contribute and help the Afghan refugee children, give them supplies that might help them study or return to school, and add joy to their lives, because they live in difficult circumstances and some of them have lost or been parted from their families,” he said.
“I believe that all children have the right to learn, and I am delighted to provide some school tools and activities to assist them in completing their studies, and I encourage all kids to do so. From this experience, I learned that helping others offers us satisfaction and goodness and that at some point, all of us may need people who stand by us and support us,” Sultan continued.
QF students wrote personal letters to the Afghan children to show solidarity and moral support.
Among the letters of hope, support, and solidarity to Afghan refugee children were one from Boussoufa, who wrote: “I hope you have had a comfortable stay in Qatar so far, and I hope that you settle down and find a home that makes you feel happy and safe. Always remember, happiness comes from within us; if you have happy thoughts, you will always be a happy person.”
QAD teachers were aware of the tremendous positive role their students could lead in supporting Afghan children; thus, they educated them about the situation in Afghanistan and informed them of ways to help ease their pain and suffering.
“When our students heard about the situation in Afghanistan, there was a lot of discussion in the class about it. They are aware of what is happening around the world, and so the situation of Afghan refugees inspired them to give,” said Hanifa Azizur Rahman, a Grade 5 teacher at QAD.
“As much as the students learned from this initiative, we learned from them, and we realized that they should be listened to also. They are responsible and empathetic to the situation around them, but we need to give them the opportunity, and they will act,” she added.
“This experience has been a learning curve for them, they have demonstrated a great degree of maturity and responsibility, and I hope it will have a genuine influence on their lives. Students are our future leaders, and they will make a difference in the world. They have excellent leadership abilities and recognize that their opinions count. It was inspiring to witness their commitment to this initiative.”
The teacher highlighted the importance of teaching children the value of contribution and helping others as it enriches their humane qualities and positively shapes their personalities.
“The students have a great awareness of what is going on around them, and we saw this in their letters that they wrote.
“We were touched by their words and how they maturely discussed the matter. Our students know that they are fortunate to be in a school that encourages them to discuss different topics, and because they are here, they can make a difference,” she continued.
Rahman noted that this humanitarian initiative was successfully launched by a collective effort between teachers and students.
“We are proud of our students and families for organizing this initiative in such a short period of time, and while we are still amid the pandemic.”