Delegates discover how the initiative aims to spread benefit throughout society.
Qatar Foundation’s Akhlaquna Award aims to create a youth-driven “social movement for good” through an approach that can be replicated beyond Qatar, the 2019 Paris Peace Forum has been told.
The award – announced by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, in 2017 – supports young people who want to be drivers of social change and promoters of positive values within their communities, and recognizes the projects they develop that embody exemplary moral character.
Akhlaquna, which has just entered its third cycle, also aims to be a vehicle for behavioral change within society as a whole, and illustrate how knowledge and morality are intrinsically linked. And, for the first time, it has now been presented to an international audience, with those attending the Paris Peace Forum – an annual summit that brings together members of civil society from around the world to identify global governance solutions to the world’s challenges – learning about its aims, methodology, and impact.
By involving the community, and involving partners, in Akhlaquna, you see its value being disseminated within society.
“By involving the community, and involving partners, in Akhlaquna, you see its value being disseminated within society,” Hisham Nourin, Executive Director of Strategy, Administration and Projects, QF, told the session in Paris.
“Our aspiration is to share this with other countries, whether in the region or beyond. We’re looking to build a social movement of good, driven by youth. When we have something that is successful within the country, we are more than happy to share that knowledge with everyone.”
Projects supported by Akhlaquna reflect timeless and universal values – mercy, honesty, generosity, and tolerance –exhibited by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that have relevance to every society and culture, encouraging people to make these values a central part of their lives. Three projects are shortlisted for the award, assessed by a panel of jurors, and voted on by the public.
“When we are evaluating a project, we first want to identify what the problem is that it is trying to solve, how innovative it is, and whether it being innovative through leveraging technology or just through its simplicity,” explained Mr. Nourin.
“One aspect of Akhlaquna is that projects are judged on impact, rather than reach. For a lot of social impact projects, people look at their reach, and that may be high while the impact is quite minimal. We believe that it can be more appropriate to have less reach but more impact – we look at quality, rather than quantity.”
The winner of Cycle 2 of Akhlaquna, the Mobsron project, exemplifies this approach. It is a mobile application that empowers blind and visually impaired people by providing a tool that enables them to independently order meals, review ingredients, and compare prices from different restaurants.
The initiative’s third cycle will see outreach efforts and student-centered workshops being held in schools and universities, as well as tailored activities and events, a focus on strengthening partnerships with entities and organizations in Qatar, and its projects, the values it promotes, and the behaviors it nurtures being celebrated at a dedicated Akhlaquna Day.
Applications are now being invited for Cycle 3, and these can be submitted at www.akhlaquna.qa