Students of Qatar Academy Doha
Qatar Academy Doha students package backpacks, school materials, and gifts to put smiles on the faces of “children who do not have much due to events beyond their control
Students from Qatar Academy Doha have given bags, pens, and school supplies to Afghan refugee children in Doha to support and help them overcome challenges - as well as to bring a smile to their faces.
The Grade 5 students at the school, which is part of Qatar Foundation’s Pre-University Education, have described the experience of making a contribution to humanity, which also included writing personal letters to the Afghan children - as bringing “beautiful” emotions.
“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,” said Mohammed bin Jassim Al Thani, an 11-year-old student at Qatar Academy Doha (QAD), as he explained why he started an effort to provide backpacks, school materials, and toys to the young refugees.
"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.”
Al Thani encouraged all fifth-grade students to prepare school supplies, wrap them, and send them as gifts to the Afghan refugee children in Qatar, in order to make them feel happy and hopeful, with the initiative receiving a positive response.
"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," QAD student Najla Boussoufa said about the campaign to give bags full of souvenirs and toys to youngsters in an effort to bring some light to their lives.
"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 bring 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."
Fellow student Abdullah Muhammad Sultan said: "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.
"I believe that all children have the right to learn, and I am delighted to provide some school tools and activities to assist them complete 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.”
Among the letters of hope, support, and solidarity to Afghan refugee children, who have been forced to leave their homeland, was 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.”
Hanifa Azizur Rahman, a Grade 5 teacher at QAD, said: “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.
“As much as the students learned from this initiative, we learned from them, and we realized that they should be listened to. They are responsible and empathetic to the situation around them, but we just need to give them the opportunity and they will act.
"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.”
Rahman explained that, instilling the value of contribution and giving among children, and incorporating it in activities organized by schools, is important to the lives of students, as it is an experience that makes them proud and happy, pointing out that what children offer to others through their own actions helps to shape their personality in a way that stays with them as they grow up.
"The students have a great awareness of what is going on around them, and we saw this in their letters that they wrote,” she said. “We were touched by their words, and how they discussed the matter in a mature way.
“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 really make a difference.”
Hanifa explained that working on this initiative was a collective effort between teachers and students, saying: "We are proud of our students and families for organizing this initiative in such a short period of time, and while we are still in the midst of the pandemic."
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