Student-led initiative sees QF ecosystem come together to provide activities, mental health support, and comfort in a time of need
Volunteers and centers from across the Qatar Foundation community are supporting Afghan refugees who are being housed and cared for in Doha following their evacuation from their home country.
A student-led volunteering initiative instigated by Qatar Foundation (QF) in the wake of the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan – which has seen Qatar become a temporary home for thousands of Afghans – is providing activities for families and children as well as mental health support as they wait to begin the next phase of their lives.
“The QF community has felt a civic duty to whatever it can to help those who are experiencing trauma, upheaval, and uncertainty, and for whom Qatar has provided a place of safety.”
Over the past few weeks, QF students and other volunteers from within the organization’s ecosystem, as well as teams from many of its entities, have been supporting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at compounds in Doha where refugees are currently staying following their evacuation from Afghanistan.
“The QF community has felt a civic duty to whatever it can to help those who are experiencing trauma, upheaval, and uncertainty, and for whom Qatar has provided a place of safety,” said Mohammed Fakhroo, Executive Director of Outreach and Institutional Advancement at QF’s Community Development division, which established and is coordinating QF’s volunteering initiative.
We are looking to play our part in showing them that they are not alone, and that humanity stands with them.
“The actions of QF’s people and its entities reflect how Qatar is standing in solidarity alongside the Afghan refugees who are being housed here, and is determined to support them in a time of hardship. Through our student-led volunteering initiative which is part of a country-level effort to support these refugees, we are looking to play our part in showing them that they are not alone, and that humanity stands with them.
“The aim is to try to bring a sense of normalcy to their lives and show them that the world is aware of their plight, cares about them, and wants to help them. The actions of the young people from QF who continue to give their time to help these refugees reflects the global citizenship and sense of service that QF looks to instill in our students, and has seen volunteers look beyond themselves to help others – reflecting the values of QF, and Qatar.”
As well as setting up a donation point at Education City where QF community members can donate clothes, toys, and other urgently-needed items for Afghan refugees, QF alumni who are now specializing in the field of mental health have met children at the compounds to evaluate their mental condition and any support they may require.
Child psychologists from The Learning Center – part of QF’s Pre-University Education – have organized activities for refugees, with QF partner university Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar hosting art therapy and crafts sessions for children and young people, who have also taken part in music and dance activities organized by QF.
Meanwhile, students and other volunteers from across the QF ecosystem have spent time talking with refugees about their experiences both before and since Afghanistan came under Taliban rule, providing them with comfort and support during an uncertain time. The QF volunteering initiative is continuing on a daily basis, with more activities and support pathways planned for the refugees.