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Reach Out To Asia (ROTA) is a non-governmental charity institution. The organization was founded ten years ago, in the autumn of 2005 by Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the current Emir of Qatar (“About ROTA” par. 1). Reach Out To Asia operates on the basis of another organization, called Qatar Foundation, which was launched ten more years ago, in 1995. That is a private non-profit institution with similar missions and goals. Both Qatar Foundation and Reach Out To Asia promote the idea that “a nation’s greatest resource is the potential of its people”, so their primary goal is to increase that potential and improve the community welfare with the help of better education provided by educational centers (“About ROTA” par. 3). As for ROTA, the organization promotes the idea mentioned above focusing on different parts of Asia.
This focus has been chosen in view of the fact that many of the Asian countries are neighboring to Qatar; besides, much of Qatar’s population is made up of immigrants from Asia – more than the half of the country’s expatriate community are individuals with Asian origins. Hence, Qatar people understand the culture of Asia, as well as the needs of this part of the world, which gives them the opportunity to meet those needs best of all. Presently, ROTA operates in ten different countries: Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Cambodia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Lebanon, and Palestine (“What We Do” par. 3). Some of them currently live in war or postwar conditions, others have experienced natural disasters in the near past, many are recognized as one of the poorest countries in the world.
Considering crises and developmental difficulties in the countries mentioned above, ROTA tries to help people to overcome these obstacles and provide them with the opportunities to get proper primary and secondary education. To ensure qualitative education in crisis settings, the organization improves teaching techniques, provides new educational tools, contributes to the expertise among teachers and does all possible to make sure that schools prepare children for “the realities of local and global economies” (“Our Missions and Goals” par. 1). The organization reaches its goals with the help of local communities, partners, and volunteers (“Our Missions and Goals” par. 1). I have chosen ROTA for the case study since I find its objectives and tasks interesting and noble and would like to know more about this organization.
The Undergoing Projects of ROTA
Currently, ROTA has active projects in such countries as Iraq, Nepal, Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Indonesia. In Iraq, that is the project called Change Peoples Lives Through Education. It is implemented in five particular schools in Bagdad and aimed to improve the teaching skills of 150 educators, add sports activities, and promote the Arabic language (“Change Peoples Lives Through Education” par. 4). Project Teacher Quality Improvement in Indonesia focuses on teaching skills as well. Its aim is to improve educators’ (including elementary and secondary school teachers, trainers and headmasters) personality, pedagogy and social skills with the help of particular teacher quality improvement (TQI) programs (“Teacher Quality Improvement” par. 4). The ongoing project in Nepal is called Expanding Educational and Livelihood Resources in the Terai. Its goal is to expand education resources for people, especially young individuals, with the help of 11 READ centers in four particular districts of the country (“Expanding Educational and Livelihood Resources in the Terai” par. 5).
The primary focus is set on ICT skills and leadership qualities in youth. Projects Vocational Training Program at HUN SEN school in Cambodia and Human capital development in Bangladesh are focused not only on the education itself but on the skills that graduate students receive and their direct influence on the employment rates (“Vocational Training Program at HUN SEN” par. 4; “Human capital development” par. 5). The last project additionally aims to improve these indicators among female students (“Vocational Training Program at HUN SEN” par. 4). From the company’s press releases, we can also find out that some new projects have been launched lately. The current focus is set on Pakistan, when the organization tries to improve educational opportunities for girls and implement the new mobile learning project (“New Educational System for Girls in Pakistan” par. 2; “New Milestone for Reach Out To Asia in Pakistan” par. 1). All of ROTA’s projects focus on such topics as literacy, leadership, psychosocial support, and sports, consider youth as the target population, and are supported by one or several local partners.
ROTA in Media
Reach Out To Asia is quite active in media. As they write on the official website, “ROTA is always making the news!” (“Media Contact” par. 1). Indeed, the organization not only initiates new projects in ten chosen countries but also communicates this information to the world and does this effectively. On their official website, there is a section of press releases where almost every new project is initiated, and every new event is announced. For example, before starting the project in Hun Set – ROTA school in Cambodia, the company’s chairperson visited this school, inspected the building and facilities, met with school students, and planted a tree in the school garden (“ROTA Chairperson visits Cambodia” par. 3-5).
The project itself was launched few months later. Such information can always be found in the company’s press releases. Besides, ROTA has its own publications, which can also be found on the official website and downloaded in PDF format by any visitor (“Publications” par. 1). In addition to the information about the current and finished projects, there are progress reports and newsletters in this section. Moreover, everyone can sing up on the site for the newsletters. Finally, the chairperson of the organization maintains the blog, so the news can also be found there (“Blog” par. 1). However, the last blog’s publication was added in 2013. The information about ROTA can also be found on numerous other websites. As an example, the organization uses social networks effectively and has its profiles in Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
The Governance Structure of the Organization
Reach Out To Asia has a clear governance structure. First of all, there is the director of ROTA, Mr. Essa Al Mannai, who heads the organization and controls the work of the staff (“ROTA Governance” par. 1). Then, there is the chairperson of the company, Sheikha Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani, who is the sister of ROTA’s founder and the current ruler of Qatar, Sheikha Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani. Before becoming the chairperson of ROTA, this woman has already actively participated in numerous humanitarian projects in the same region; in 2001-2003, she was engaged in Qatar’s Red Crescent activity trying to raise money for children in Iraq, Cambodia, and Palestine (“ROTA Governance” par. 4). Sheikha Mayassa got the education in the US university and then in France and worked in the UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris in 2002 (“ROTA Governance” par. 5). The rest of ROTA’s governance is the Board of Directors, which, as appointed in the year of the company’s foundation, consists of six more people (“Management and Board” par. 2). Every one of board members takes a great role when it comes to social responsibility projects.
Possible Future SR Project
As the direction of the future development, ROTA should consider its expansion in other countries. One of the most suitable destinations, from my point of view, is India. First of all, India is located close to Qatar, and these two countries have “a long history of friendly relations” (Embassy of India par. 3). Second of all, Indian immigrants in Qatar represent approximately 18% of the country’s general population, which equals the percentage of Pakistani and exceeds the number of any other nationality in Qatar (“Qatar” 2). As a result, cultural relationships between India and Qatar are strong and stable (Embassy of India par. 25). The Qatar people like Indian cinema, Indian art and traditions of this country (Embassy of India par. 26-27). In addition, these two countries can understand each other in religious matters: almost 95% of the population of Qatar are Muslims, and in India, the second greatest religion is Islam (“Qatar” 2; “Indian Religions” par. 1).
One more reason for ROTA to expand their activities in India is a great number of natural disasters this country has been suffered from. In 2004, India was affected by the Indian Ocean Tsunami that killed over 200,000 people in more than ten countries and is still considered the deadliest disaster in Indian history (“List of Worst Natural Disasters” par. 9). In India, it took almost 11,000 of lives, harmed nearly 3 million of people, and damaged thousands of hectares of crops (NDMA par. 9). Apart from this, there have been many floods, earthquakes, severe droughts, and cyclones in recent years (NDMA par. 1-10). All of them have not only killed a lot of people but also caused significant damages reducing the quality of life in this country. Since ROTA aims to help countries that experienced natural disasters or wars in the past, India should be one of the organization’s focuses. Finally, the level of life and the quality of education in Qatar is much better than in India, which is why Qatar is able to help. This project will differ from all others only because of the new destination and will add value since it promotes ROTA’s ideas in one more country. A tentative plan for the project’s implementation will be presented below.
Islamic Perspective and the New Project
Islamic perspective can be considered as the central motivating force for ROTA when it comes to each of its projects. Moreover, it can be true even for its project in India, even though Islam is not the main religion in this country. The point is the Islamic perceptive in business has almost nothing to do with religion. The employees or the partners of the organization that is guided by Islamic principles do not necessarily have to dress like Muslims or wear particular religious symbols. The majority of values and paradigms that Islamic management perspective promotes are much more universal than religious. As a prime example, Muslims in business want respectful and humane treatment, honesty and fairness, transparency and loyalty. Non-Muslims want the same things. All of these values become even more important in the view of the fact that ROTA is a charity institution. It is imperative for every person involved in its activity to understand those; otherwise, the organization will not be able to operate adequately and fulfill its primary goal.
A Tentative Strategy for Implementation
A strategy for implementation, first of all, should be based on problems that Indian education system has, and which should be solved. From my point of view, the first problem that should be addressed is the lack of expertise among teachers. It turns out that educators in India are not sufficiently trained and do not have all necessary skills to teach pupils (“10 Fundamental Problems” par. 15-17). Therefore, ROTA should impellent the training programs for teachers, as it has already done in many other countries. The second problem that should be solved refers to the standards of Indian education system as such. Presently, it “promotes rat race” among children, does not teach pupils how to think creatively and critically analyze the information, does not help to build the personality, etc. (“10 Fundamental Problems” par. 3-11). All that Indian pupils do is work by the template, and that is a mistake. ROTA can change this promoting its values: it should develop leadership skills in children, use sports to entertain pupils and distract them from the “rat race” (“10 Fundamental Problems” par. 3). Additionally, developing leadership in youth, ROTA can also help to solve another problem of Indian education system – the lack of ambitions among the graduates (“10 Fundamental Problems” par. 27-29).
About ROTA 2015. Web.
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Blog: The Chairperson’s Blog 2013. Web.
Change Peoples Lives Through Education 2013. Web.
Embassy of India. India Qatar Bilateral Relations 2015. Web.
Indian Religions n.d. 2015. Web.
Management and Board 2015. Web.
Media Contact: Media enquiries 2015. Web.
NDMA. Disaster Data & Statistics 2015. Web.
Our Missions and Goals 2015. Web.
Publications: ROTA Publications 2015. Web.
Qatar n.d. 2015. Web.
ROTA Governance: Sheikha Mayassa 2015. Web.
Teacher Quality Improvement 2010. Web.
What We Do 2015. Web.