19 September 2022

/United Nations/Qatar's Educational and Development initiatives: Implementation of UN Goals, Better Future for Poor Communities

  • Education

Doha, September 01 (QNA) - The convening of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York comes and the State of Qatar has made a great stride in its educational and development initiatives that it offers to hundreds of millions of the world's population in different continents, believing that education, training and enrolling young people in jobs and economic opportunities is the best way to get out of poverty, and to establish Just and peaceful societies, unleashing the potential, creating the right conditions to improve the quality of life in marginalized countries, and achieving the sustainable development goals set by the United Nations.
Among those initiatives that are aligned with the sustainable development goals, international Qatari institutions stand out, led by Silatech development foundation, Education Above All Foundation, the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), and other initiatives, institutions and projects that Qatar offers to the world to achieve quality in a better life, higher education and decent health care.
The announcement of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, in September 2018, of the State of Qatar's pledge to provide quality education for one million girls by 2021, is a milestone in the history of UN development initiatives regarding the provision of quality education for girls and women in developing countries.
HH the Amir also announced his support for Charlevoix Declaration, especially that the State of Qatar has long ago given education priority at the internal and external levels, which was reflected in its international development assistance programs.
As part of the State of Qatar's interest in education, His Highness said that Qatar led the efforts to issue a pioneering United Nations resolution on the right to education in emergencies in 2010, which indicated that a large proportion of the world's children who are not in school live in areas affected by the conflict.
HH the Amir added that many countries have supported many global and regional educational initiatives, expressing in this regard his pride that Qatar's "Educate A Child" initiative has recently succeeded in helping 10 million marginalized children out of school to receive good quality primary education, as it includes 82 partnerships in 50 countries with an amount of USD 1.8 billion, of which the government of Qatar contributed a third of it as part of global efforts between the private sector and civil society and international organizations.
Among the dozens of Qatari initiatives aimed at alleviating poverty on children and providing them with the best educational opportunities, HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of the Education Above All Foundation, signed in February 2018 in Paris an agreement with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to provide education to more than 150,000 out-of-school children in the Middle East and Asia, and an agreement with the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants to educate another million children in Pakistan, thus expanding Qatar's partnership with UNESCO to cover 11 countries. 

As for the Qatari global initiative "Educate A Child" of the Education Above All Foundation, it is a success story and a unique partnership between Qatar and the UN since it was launched by HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, on Nov. 14, 2012, with the aim of reducing the number of disadvantaged children from basic education around the world, and within ten years the program will support more than 10 million children around the world.
Her Highness said, "We were determined to make "Educate A Child" different. We knew that the mission was possible...we just needed a different model."
Her Highness added, "We knew our resources would be limited, so we had to make a choice between two options: educate 60 million children for 1 year, or 10 million children for 6 years. We chose the latter. We wanted lasting change. I then made a personal promise to provide primary education to 10 million children. I knew it was ambitious, but I wanted to show that even daring goals can be met. What started as a personal challenge soon evolved into a global coalition."
On this program and that global Qatari initiative, Leena Al Derham, from the Education Above All Foundation, confirmed that the Foundation, since its inception in 2012, has provided education to more than 10.7 million children in more than 60 countries around the world, and pledged with its partners to enroll 12.8 million marginalized children in schools most of them are in poor countries and conflict areas, and it has implemented its plans through a multi-sectoral approach, unique financing models, focusing on innovation as a tool for social good, and effective partnerships.
Al Derham explained, in exclusive statements to Qatar News Agency (QNA), that the Foundation cooperates with more than 80 partners around the world in implementing innovative interventions and global programs that focus on the most difficult challenges facing marginalized children and youth and work to solve them, noting the presence of more than 2,000 educational facilities funded by Education Above All Foundation, more than 50 projects are currently active in more than 45 countries around the world.
She noted that the Foundation operates around the world through four programs and divisions: Educate A Child, Al Fakhoora, Reach Out To Asia (ROTA), Protecting Education in Conflict and Insecurity, and Managing Innovation Development.
She explained that "Educate A Child" program aims to bring about fundamental and tangible changes in the lives of children whose conditions have prevented them from enrolling in primary education, through strategic partnerships and innovative solutions, and removing obstacles that impede their access to quality education, for the benefit of children and their communities, and laying the foundations for a more sustainability world.
Al Fakhoora program, which was launched in 2009 following the Israeli aggression against Al Fakhoora school in the northern Gaza Strip and claimed the lives of dozens of martyrs of the students, is one of the most prominent educational development initiatives for Qatar in cooperation with the relevant UN organizations, and the program has evolved since its launch until now to turn into a permanent mechanism for education and reconstruction in many countries of the world in cooperation with development partners inside and outside the State of Qatar.
In June 2021, HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of the Education Above All Foundation and member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Advocates, and HM Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General for Inclusive Finance for Development, participated in a virtual ceremony on the occasion of the achievement of "10,000 scholarships" provided to refugees and displaced persons to complete their higher education, through a partnership between the Al Fakhoora program and the Dutch "SPARK" organization. 

On "Protecting Education in Conflict and Insecurity" program, Al Derham said: It advocates for international policies and laws that guarantee the protection of the right to quality, equitable and inclusive education for all, especially for communities living in a state of insecurity and conflict. To realize this vision there are two main approaches: one is high-level advocacy for officials and global thought leaders; To ensure accountability and end the culture of impunity against attacks on education, the other is grassroots advocacy by empowering rights holders with the knowledge and skills to defend their right to education, thus contributing to building more peaceful, fair and prosperous societies.
Regarding the Reach Out to Asia (ROTA), she stated that it seeks to create a world in which young people have a sense of belonging to a common humanity, enabling them to develop the knowledge, skills and values necessary for effective participation, and facing development challenges locally and globally together with partners and volunteers.
Al Derham drew attention to the importance of the "Together" project launched by the Foundation to ensure that all children residing in Qatar have access to fair education opportunities, as the project works with non-governmental organizations and affected communities, to help disadvantaged children with education in 31 private schools and "Al Salam" schools, noting that the project has provided more than 4,000 educational opportunities for children of 33 different nationalities.
To conclude her statement to QNA, she said that the Education Above All Foundation includes a special department for innovation development, whose goal is to develop innovative solutions to meet the challenges and remove obstacles facing global education, including educational solutions with rapid response in emergency situations through the implementation of specific programs for the displaced (two programs in Ukraine and one in Afghanistan), which focus on quality and accessibility of education for children and youth who are out of school, through new programs that are offered in cooperation with local and international partners.
Regarding the role of Silatech in providing decent and sustainable livelihoods within their local communities, and improving the quality of life for young people and girls in countries around the world, especially marginalized ones, the CEO of Silatech Hassan Ali Al Mulla, said in an exclusive statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA), that the Foundation has provided jobs and economic opportunities, in cooperation with its partners, to more than two million young men and women in more than 18 countries in the Middle East and Africa, and it is expanding in new regions in Asia and Africa in an effort to reach 5 million young people in order to connect them to jobs.
He pointed out that the Foundation, since its establishment in 2008, has been working to link young people to economic empowerment opportunities, especially young people who have been affected by conflicts and crises such as refugees, displaced people and marginalized people, noting that this is done through two main programs: employment, development and entrepreneurship.
Al Mulla added that the Foundation has held many partnerships with international institutions and organizations to achieve its goals, as Silatech launched a new program in Morocco in cooperation with the American Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Education for Employment Foundation to build the capacities of Moroccan youth, by providing them with necessary skills, and linking more than 8,000 young men and women to the labor market to obtain a source of income for them and secure a decent life for their families necessary to launch their income-generating projects, contribute to achieving stability in their local communities and alleviating poverty. The project has succeeded in linking more than 61,000 young men and women to employment through the self-employment mechanism by the end of 2021, and the program aims to raise beneficiaries to 100,000 young people by the end of 2022.
He noted that Silatech is cooperating with the European Union and Al-Amal Bank in implementing a program that supports young people and provides appropriate funding and resources for them to launch their income-generating projects, to contribute to their support and their families, and to create job opportunities for young people in Yemen. The project succeeded by its end in 2021 in enabling more than 42,000 young men and women, and providing a decent life for them and their families.
He pointed out that the Foundation's role is not limited to this point, but extends beyond it to organizing and participating in conferences and events that support the rights of young people in education and work, including the launch of the "Youth Consultative Council" in cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Education Above All Foundation, which includes young people representing the continents of the world as an important platform for young people to discuss their various issues and make recommendations on them, as well as organizing youth dialogues on the sidelines of the 76th United Nations General Assembly, and discussion sessions during the successive editions of the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) on the importance of bridging the gap between higher education and labor market, and the importance of providing young people with the necessary skills to compete in the labor market. (QNA)



General, Qatar
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