Getting your child involved in volunteer work has countless benefits. For both parent and child, volunteering is a great way to develop new skills and talents, to meet new people and learn more about Qatari culture. It is important that children of all ages learn to help others, to make an impact on the lives of those less fortunate and in the process remember what they are thankful for.
Choosing the right opportunity
Volunteering provides children with the opportunity to learn about local social and environmental issues and how various organisations tackle these concerns. Selecting an industry or subject the child shows some interest in will boost their passion and make it more enjoyable.
Children who see their parents volunteering, are much more likely to believe in the value of working to help others so consider selecting an activity that the whole family can enjoy. Choosing a “hands on” activity is also important but make sure it is age-compatible by checking with the organisers first. Scouting the environment for tasks that can be completed by your child and providing close supervision and direction will ensure that the child holds interest in what they are doing and the overall experience is pleasant. Recognising when they need a break or to change tasks is imperative. You want them to go away with the desire to return to volunteering.
There are many companies in Doha that offer volunteering experiences. Here are some to start on:
Reach Out To Asia (ROTA)
ROTA works with a variety of partners in Doha to fulfil its mission to help people across Asia affected by crises. It aims to indoctrinate the spirit of volunteerism and encourage involvement in community development both in and outside Qatar. Children can get involved in many ways, although the parents need to become the primary volunteer applicant. Children can participate in fundraising events and community awareness projects, which would entail handing out flyers, placing banners and billboards.
The Youth Company (TYC)
Founded in 2010 by then 22-year-old Mohamed Farid, The Youth Company aims to increase social awareness among young people. This non-profit has become a very popular option for volunteering events. Although targeted at the older youth age group, their events can still be enjoyed by families and younger teenagers (even if you are not a member). Youth Leader Abdulrahman Sajid said that through volunteering, young people develop a sense of community and responsibility for the issues they face.
Qatar Volunteer Group
One of the largest online volunteer groups in Qatar, QVG organises various events every year such as the Heatwave Awareness Campaign (Cool Campaign) during summer, Beach Cleaning Campaign, Iftar Drive (Muslim Fasting Month of Ramadan). They also promote international events such as Earth Day, World Water Day and Breast Cancer Awareness. These events involve various activities and experiences for all ages and are a great way to get started in volunteering.
If your family loves the environment, then this is a group for you. This independent organisation is made up completely of volunteers who meet every month to address environmental issues relevant to Qatar. Since 2008, they have worked hard to raise awareness about environmental matters and coordinate various conservation projects. Families can get involved in awareness evenings, clean-up projects or tour their conservation efforts across Doha.
Poseidon Dive Centre
Although not a volunteering company, Poseidon Dive Centre is heavily involved with protection of the environment, mainly the seas surrounding Qatar. For example, sponsored by the Ministry of Environment, Poseidon Dive Centre, Qatar Divers, Project Aware and GUWAA (Global Under Water Awareness Association) organised an event in September called Dive Against Debris. This initiative from GUWAA coordinated a mass clean up of seas, rivers and lakes in 80 countries on the same day.
Qatar Animal Welfare Society (QAWS)
QAWS is all about animal care. The facility is run by donations from the community and is fully supported by the volunteers who feed, clean, socialize and spend time with more than 100 orphaned and abandoned animals. There are many ways a family can assist this worthy cause. Taking the kids for a visit to the shelter to donate some animal food and have a little cuddle is just one of ways you can start! Or if you see an animal that needs help please call them on 5539 6074.
Friends of the Environment
This not-for-profit organization works very closely with the Government, NGOs and private sector dedicated to environment protection and conservation. They conduct field trips to monitor insects, birds and other species around town. They hold school competitions, exhibitions and other community events to raise funds and awareness on anything to do with the environment. Their programs focus on students, families and local community involvement.
Qatar Red Crescent
Just like all the other Red Crescent organisations around the world, Qatar’s is very active. They coordinate international relief actions and promote humanitarian support to those in need. Family volunteers can get involved in collecting and packing food items as well as a range of other relief efforts that are organized by the team. Becoming a member adds you to the network to receive more information on their volunteer opportunities.
+974 4402 7777
“Everyone can make a difference in the world, one action at a time,” Qatar Animal Welfare Society.
This is not an exhaustive list of all the opportunities out there for families to experience volunteer work, but rather the most popular. Focusing on others for a change can be really enjoyable. Taking yourself out of your normal environment, meeting new friends and facing situations where you can really learn new skills, all while helping others can be an important life experience—especially for kids.