2019 in review: Community Engagement
By Mead Al Emadi, Community Engagement Manager
It has been yet another action-packed year for the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy's (SC) Community Engagement Division. We have always stated that the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ will be a tournament that benefits everyone in our country, and this year, we have tried to engage as many people as possible on our journey towards the first tournament in the Middle East and Arab world.
Throughout 2019, we delivered numerous projects and interacted with various community members through our flagship initiatives, including the Accessibility Forum, Community Partnerships, the Volunteer Progamme, Tamreen, our annual lecture series and various football tournaments.
It has always been our priority to deliver an inclusive, accessible tournament and legacy. This year, we showcased our aim to involve as many people as possible in Qatar's World Cup journey with the successful use of our ground-breaking stadium sensory rooms. The rooms were put to test during two tournaments – the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup and FIFA Club World Cup™. We hosted children and adults with varying cognitive and sensory needs from Best Buddies, Awsaj Academy, Renad Academy, SIDRA and The Learning Centre.
Our efforts to make Qatar more accessible to visitors ahead of 2022 extend beyond the stadiums. That is why following an audit, we donated QAR 1 million for accessibility improvements at Katara Cultural Village, to ensure that visitors can enjoy one of the key cultural landmarks in Qatar.
Also in 2019, and under the Community Partnerships Programme, we awarded a total of 25 grants to support cultural groups and teams participating in the Qatar Community Football League. We also involved more than 20 communities in fan activities and entertainment during the Arabian Gulf Cup and FIFA Club World Cup™.
Meanwhile, our Cultural Experience Programme aims to shine a spotlight on Qatari, Arab and Islamic culture by encouraging collaboration with Qatar's cultural sector in initiating and developing a cultural experience in the lead-up to and during the tournament. In 2019, we took part in the United Nations Day Concert, which was delivered in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of the State of Qatar to the United Nations, along with Brand Qatar, Doha Film Institute and the Government Communications Office. The event was titled 'Building Prosperity for All Through Culture, Education, Gender Equality, Sports and Sustainability'.
Since its launch in September 2018, our Volunteer Programme has gone from strength to strength. Our volunteers have been deployed across local, regional and international events, including the SC's Ramadan tournaments, the CAF Super Cup final, the Qatar @roadto2022 Exhibition during the Copa America and the United Nations Day Concert. Within the last year, we have been in contact with 42,000 volunteers, engaged face-to-face with 16,000 and deployed more than 4,000.
We also aim to engage students and educators across Qatar in learning firsthand about the SC's plans for the tournament in 2022. With that in mind, we have delivered information sessions to 700 students from Qatar University, Georgetown University in Qatar and Texas A&M University at Qatar. Designed to enrich schools' curriculums with Qatar 2022-themed activities, our online educational programme, Tamreen, launched 22 toolkits this year, including one about Al Janoub Stadium.
With less than three years to go until the long-awaited tournament, we look forward to continuing our journey in 2020.