A Change of Guard

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Wednesday, 2 May 2012

[Qatar's] Volunteers feted on return from Cambodia trip

The Rota volunteers with officials
The Gulf Times
Latest Update: Wednesday 2/5/2012 May, 2012  

Qatar-based non-governmental organisation Reach Out To Asia (Rota)  yesterday hosted a reflection event for some 15 volunteers, parents and school officials to celebrate the success of its recent volunteer trip to Cambodia.
During the event, the volunteers showed pictures taken from their trip and recited testimonials telling the audience how the trip had changed their opinions about Cambodia and its people.
“This was Rota’s third Volunteer Trip to Cambodia. Though previous trips were hugely successful, this year was especially rewarding because we were able to send our first all-female group of student volunteers to see Rota’s educational and community development work for themselves, as well as experience the reality of life for young people in Cambodia,” Rota director Essa al-Mannai said.

In collaboration with Rota’s Cambodian partner, the Monithapana Foundation and under the sponsorship of Vodafone-Qatar, the female volunteers from Al Bayan Independent Secondary School for Girls, Al Sailiyah Independent Secondary School for Girls and the Amna Bint Wahab Independent Secondary School for Girls travelled to Cambodia at the end of March.
During their nine-day visit, the all-female volunteer group hosted workshops for some 150 students at the new Rota-funded and supported Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen – Rota – Khsach Kandal General and Technical High School.
In addition, the volunteers raised funds to present the Phnom Penh Dubai Islamic School with learning materials, books and a photocopier, and helped distribute basic food supplies to 200 local families.
“The school in Cambodia was truly wonderful. The pupils could not have been any more polite and willing to share with us. In the end, I made many friends and I have remained in touch with them since arriving home. Thank you Rota, the experience was everything I hoped for and more,”  one of the student Manal al-Mansoori told the gathering.
Al-Mannai added: “Without doubt, the different activities in Cambodia challenged the students to reflect on what Rota’s mission to provide quality primary and secondary education really means, most importantly to witness how we put our ‘education for all’ mission into action.”
More information about Rota’s projects in Cambodia and 10 other Asian countries can be had at
www.reachouttoasia.org or Facebook page, www.facebook.com/reachouttoasia.