In the presence of HE Sheikh Thani bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the Social Development Centre - Nama, one of the affiliated establishments of Qatar Foundation for Social Work (QFSW), held a graduation ceremony on Thursday for the first generation of the “Sama Nama” programme.
The event at Qatar National Convention Centre was attended by many prominent figures, Nama’s staff and administrators, members of civil society entities, and families of the participants.
The graduation comes after over three months of preparation, along with training, travelling abroad, and passing all necessary stages of the "Sama Nama" programme requirements, ranging from development of the executive plan, through field work, to interaction with different societies and organisations, schools, and relevant bodies and associations.
The event kicked off with a spectacular opening, with the participants standing on the platform and pitched in a creative way and presented the outputs of their innovative projects within the “Sama Nama” programme, in compliance with the centre's strategy of continuous communication with the public.
A video of all stages of the project was screened, followed by a discussion session on social entrepreneurship by young Qatari entrepreneurs Maryam al-Kuwari and Ghanem al-Sulaiti, who made evident social contributions through their projects.
HE Sheikh Thani bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, HE the Minister of Development Planning and Statistics Dr Saleh Mohamed Salem al-Nabit and other dignitaries attending the "Sama Nama" graduation ceremony.
Mariam bint Abdul Latif al-Mannai, acting director of Nama, spoke about the importance of these programmes, as they focus on promoting the Qatari youth’s role, productivity, and involvement in the social and voluntary work. She also stressed that the Qatari society is determined to invest in human capital, expressing her pride in the opportunities and innovative ideas that “Sama Nama” presented to the Qatari youth.
The first generation of “Sama Nama” projects has attracted many talents, including an Arab inventor from the Stars of Science programme, and others from multiple professional and academic backgrounds, such as international affairs, media, electronic engineering, medicine, management, tourism, oil and gas, alongside several graduates from universities and high schools.
The “Qarari” (My Decision) project idea came out of the necessity to introduce Qatari youth to the available educational opportunities, directing them to all options of university education, and establishing a full and sustainable cycle of raising awareness about the importance of education and vocational guidance, and selecting the appropriate and rare (or needed) specialties required by the labour market in the country. The project took inspiration from a speech delivered by His Highness the Emir urging (the foundation) of constructive initiatives and diversity of competencies.
On the other hand, the “Silah” (link) project focused on being the link and a logistic support for various new youth energies and emerging ideas, finding and channeling suitable exhibitions for them, facilitating their access to different outlets in the country, and configuring dedicated platforms for them in the future.
The “Sama Nama” programme aspires to create an effective generation of social entrepreneurs. The projects are the starting point for more active contributions by social entrepreneurs in the Qatari community, enabling them to implement several social projects and initiatives in the future.
The graduates were selected from among 500 participants. After passing the training stages and implementing all the practical requirements of the programme, the participants were able to work independently and implement social initiatives and projects before submitting reports about them to the jury, which evaluated and decided on the graduates, and also provided guidance and discussed experiences.
The jury included Amaal bint Abdullatif al-Mannai, CEO of QFSW; Sabah al-Haidous, CEO of Silatech Foundation; Dr Khaled Abdul Qadir, dean of Management and Economics Faculty at Qatar University; Dr Issa al-Hurr, Youth Affairs Counselor at the Ministry of Culture and Sports; Mashael al-Nuaimi, Qatar Foundation's development director, Yarub Bourahamah, founder of Light Bug Media and founding member of the Protegs program; and Jassim Abdallah al-Sane, investment services manager at Citigroup.
At the end of the ceremony, HE Sheikh Thani bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani honoured the graduates. The certificates were then distributed along with awards and trophies.
Nama Centre was established in 1996 by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser with the desire to achieve human and social development in Qatar. Since 2013, the centre has been working under the umbrella of QFSW. Nama is a member of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, the Arab Network for NGOs, and the World Family Organisation.