As the largest international community for people who live and work abroad, InterNations, present in 420 global communities, offers global networking opportunities, local events, and expat-relevant information.
At around 3,000 monthly events and activities, expats get to meet fellow internationals in their city, while forums and destination guides provide valuable tips and information. Doha Changemakers is an expatriate community group under the umbrella of InterNations that was formed in Germany in 2007 by Malte Zeeck, Philipp von Plato, and Christian Leifeld. The group is all about volunteering and charity works. The members have so far conducted many activities to bring change within the community. The group takes pride in carrying out activities such as migrant workers food drive, runaway maids survival kits, Doha community cats emergency food drive, animal shelter volunteering, beach clean-ups, winter warmers for migrant workers, helping rescued dogs, helping stranded migrant workers etc.
Young Indian chartered accountant Ankit Agarwal is a member of InterNations and consul for Doha Changemakers Group. “I became the group consul in December 2020. I have been in Qatar since 2012 and an InterNations member since 2016. Apart from my job, I have interest in cooking and painting. I developed these interests during the Covid-19 lockdown. I also love meeting new people. It is always interesting to learn how people have struggled in their lives and motivated others.”
Global expatriate organisation InterNations has 4.1mn members all over the world. “There are different groups created under this organisation in many countries. As in Qatar, we have Doha Changemakers Group and Doha Desi Indian Cultural Group, Doha Filipino Group and Doha Singing Group. Every group is supervised by a consul. I came to know about the largest international community group of expatriates through the Internet. As a consul, it is my duty to carry out one activity for the group members every month. It is mandatory for the consuls to keep the members connected.”
Doha Changemakers Group is all about volunteering and charity work. “Members of the group only get involved in volunteering or charity activities like helping the workers and supporting stray animals, etc. In the group, we have 1,500 members in Qatar. They are all expatriates coming from all corners of the globe. InterNations has Changemakers' groups all over the world.”
During the coronavirus pandemic, the Changemakers had to stop their physical activities and could not do much. “The group was without a consul for some time during 2020. There were not many activities. However, for 2021, I have lined up numerous activities. Soon we will invite a medical doctor for a lecture on mental health for our members. We always think and work on ideas to bring positive change in the community and society. We plan to have collaborations with organisations such as Qatar Red Crescent Society and Qatar Volunteers. As a group, we can help people not only in Qatar but in any other country. We also plan to have our insignia T-shirts, making people recognise our members.”
For Ankit, Doha Changemakers Group is distinct from other community platforms in Qatar. “Many other expatriate organisations are specific to a country or a region. We are not. It is an open forum for everyone. It is supported by a global expatriate organisation. It is a global forum enabling members to reach other members in different countries. It is a registered organisation all over the world.”
Doha Changemakers Group has more active and volunteering members in Qatar than in many other countries. “The reason may be is that there is a large majority of expatriates in Qatar and they look for opportunities to do some volunteering work or networking. For them, our group is a right kind of forum. People here can afford to have some free time as well as money. It is a perfect place to take part in volunteering activities.”