The Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS) at Georgetown University, recently hosted a seminar on ‘Refugee Crisis Through Education Qatar, highlighting complexities of providing education in the midst of the on-going regional humanitarian crisis.
Speaking to an audience of researchers and invited guests, Essa Al Mannai, Executive Director of Reach Out To Asia (ROTA) explained how educating children can help with the rebuilding process and reduce the isolation caused by illiteracy. ‘The most marginalised segments of the societies during crisis are the youth and young children, Al-Mannai added. ‘Education is a must, and must be upheld as a first priority he noted.
He also explained how Rota adopts a holistic approach, focusing on working with partners on the ground to build the capacity of school administrators, teachers, children, and parents, as well as that of local non-profit groups. The Qatar-based non-profit organisation, Rota, since its launch, has led a number of initiatives ranging from dult literacy trainings to youth leadership programmes in Qatar and key countries in Asia.
The organisation provides primary and secondary education and create safe learning environments in crisis-affected areas. ‘At a time where there are multiple humanitarian crises unfolding across the Middle East and beyond, Rota is having a significant impact on the lives of refugees in no less than thirteen countries, said CIRS Director Dr. Mehran Kamrava.
‘Through initiatives such as sponsorship of schools, youth sports, and adult literacy programmes, Rota is improving lives of refugees not just today but for years to come he added.
The event at CIRS is part of the research institute’s Monthly Dialogue series.
In addition to his role at Rota, Al-Mannai recently represented the Qatari non-profit sector at a high level event on Refugees’ Education in Emergency Situations hosted by the Permanent United Nations Missions of Portugal, Qatar, and Turkey.