Several members of Qatar Foundation’s (QF) Ability Friendly Programme have made a mark with notebooks and tote bags featuring their artworks. QF’s Ability Friendly Programme is an initiative that supports people with disabilities to engage in sporting and developmental activities.
Education City Gift Shop has introduced the products featuring artwork made by people of all abilities. Titled “Dreams in Colour”, the collection features artwork made by 12 young artists from the Ability Friendly Programme. Created by young artists with unique perspectives, the collection is a celebration of creativity and the joy of expression. A note in the products reminds people to “explore the wonder of differences and the power of art with us. Let these creations remind you that within challenges, there's beauty waiting to be uncovered.”
According to an article on QF website, the idea of creating the product line was born following an arts session where impressed by the artistic talent of the participants , the volunteers running the session took it upon themselves to create a product line. Fatima al-Mannai, a graduate of QF’s Virginia Commonwealth University of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar), who was one of the volunteers said: “We saw their potential and saw the opportunity to make a difference and play a small role in uplifting and empowering a marginalised section of society. We saw it not as a choice but as a duty.”
Featuring several local elements in the artwork, the products are available for sale in the Education City Gift Shop branches in QF Headquarters and Multaqa as well as popup shops in Expo 2023 Doha, and Torba Farmers Market. All proceeds will go towards QF’s Ability Friendly Programme.
“We are proud to be supporting the creative talent of these young artists and contributing towards creating an inclusive society where everyone’s potential can shine,” said Sara al-Thani, manager, Creative Studio at QF.
“These products embody a real and meaningful narrative of social progress, a powerful story of discovering potential with community members empowering each other through the power of volunteering.”
‘Dreams in Colour’ stands as a powerful testament to the transformative impact of volunteering, community engagement, and social responsibility. Every aspect, from the concept to artwork development was driven by volunteers, including both QF staff and students.
Seeing their children’s art go from being taped to the wall to being on a commercial product was an emotional experience for the parents of the young artists. When asked how she felt, one of the mothers said: “A whirlwind of emotions, but most resoundingly it has given me hope – hope that in the future my child will be seen beyond her disability.”
“Being a part of this project has taught me the power of taking initiative, of volunteering, of collective effort and most importantly, how each one of us can, and should, forge a path towards an inclusive society,” added, Shaikha Darwish, another volunteer from VCUarts Qatar.