Posted on March 17, 2018

The 10th annual youth-led conference “EMPOWER 2018” concluded yesterday with a declaration seeking international support for youth initiatives to achieve effective citizenship. The event was organised by Education Above All (EAA) Foundation’s programme, Reach Out to Asia (ROTA).

Kicking off the final day of “EMPOWER 2018”, the attendees had the opportunity for educational offsite visits to renowned places such as Qatar National Library, Msheireb Museum, Fire Station, Kahrama Tarsheed Park, Souq Waqif, as well as a visit to Dahl Al Hamam park organized by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment to the participants. Following the visits, experts reflected on the offsite activities at the conference venue and shared great learning with participants. As day 3 was the last day of the event, ROTA Youth Advisory Board Members revealed the conference outcomes, while ROTA Youth Service Clubs (RYSC) presented flash stories and achievements.

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The ROTA Youth Service Clubs (RYSC) awards ceremony was also held to recognise the efforts of the four winning clubs on their community service projects. Four prizes were awarded to following project: “Q- Wasel” for Best comprehensive project, “Bina Taalou” for Best achievements, “Jouraat Hayat” for best teamwork, and “Tahammal Binafsak” for best organized and systematic project. Held under the theme ‘Youth and Effective Citizenship’, this year’s conference provided a platform for youth to hone their leadership skills whilst taking the initiative to develop solutions to some of the world’s most pressing global issues.

This year “EMPOWER 2018” was a true culmination of the efforts of the 450 youth who took part this year and a true reflection of their views, and recommendations with respect to the topic of ‘Youth and Effective Citizenship’. They were able to discover their voice and build their knowledge, skills, and experiences, towards creating positive change for themselves and their communities, as well as effectively contribute to the progress and prosperity of their nations.

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The three-day event included a combination of panel discussion, keynote speeches, workshops, seminars, off-site activities, exhibition, social programme and youth artistic expression. The core takeaways for the youth included to be driven by opportunity and not by necessity as well as be enterprising and work towards economic prosperity. They could also make a difference by investing their time and efforts in supporting the economy by endorsing local products. Social media channels are also being considered as an effective tool to be updated on every aspect of one’s life and community.

This year's theme also celebrated the milestone of ROTA completing 10 years of Youth Empowerment through its EMPOWER initiative. More than 450 passionate young people from Qatar, the region, and around the world gathered in the conference, to explore youth empowerment and promote youth leadership, service learning and global citizenship. This year, ROTA received more than 1,000 applications from 55 countries. Participants were selected following a meticulous screening of all applications and personal interviews with applicants in order to determine the most appropriate candidates.