Vodafone Qatar Announces Winners of World of Difference Programme
21 February 2010: At apress conference held today at the Al-Sharq Village and Spa, Vodafone Qatar announced the winners of its first annual Worldof Difference programme, in which four individuals are selected to execute their own charitable projects in Qatarfor a year, and are paid to do so by Vodafone Qatar.
"The selection process has been quite rigorous," said Jan Mottram, Vodafone Qatar's Chief People Officer. "In the past two months we received 400 applications via our website, which were read by a selection panel of Vodafone Qatar employees. The semi-finalists were then interviewed face-to-face by Vodafone executives and one external local charity partner."
"We chose the four winners because they demonstrated passion, commitment and clear objectives,"said Luisa Gentile, Vodafone's Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and head of the World of Difference programme. "All their projects had the potential to make a world of difference for all people in Qatarby being high-impact, measurable, and sustainable projects that will last beyondthe lifetime of this initiative, which is one year."
Ms. Mottram also added: "Our decision-making has been quite transparent, and we're open to answer any enquiries or requests for clarification to any participants who didn't make it. In fact, each of them has by now received an informative email from Vodafone."
The winners of this year's World of Difference programme are as follows:
Mohamed Kamal is a 20-year old Qatari student who has decided to spend his gap year on a community service project in the poor areasin Qatar. His project will involve teaching, conservation, building and community work. His decision to apply for the World of Difference programme, he said, was motivated by a desire "to experience what it feels like to be the person who actually makes a difference in the world".
Margaret Gigliotti is an American fitness teacher who has lived in Qatar for almost 9 years. Her project aims to make a difference in the lives of young girls in Qatar by creating an after school program that educates and prepares them for alifetime of healthy living. "My goal,"Ms. Gigliotti said, "is to help pre-teen girls aged 8-12 to develop positive habits that will stay with them into adulthood and prevent health problems such as the rising problem of obesity."
Giovanni Espinal is a Colombian-American Qatar University Teacher who was looking for something meaningful that would have an impact in the community. Of his project, which seeks to teach English to field workers, he says: "I hope to create agents ofchange in each of our students, individuals who are more confident, and who can adapt to their new environment thanks to the tools that we will provide them".
Margherita Trestini is an Italian Marketing Manager who has previous volunteering experience in volunteer camps in Algeria, Bosnia, Serbiaand Palestine. Her project is an English Course specifically targeting Nepalese labourers. "The Nepalese community is amazingly rich inculture, tradition, ancient wisdom," she says. "Giving ourselves the chance to communicate with them is a great opportunity for exchange and enrichment. It is our responsibility now to makethe program work and successfully involve the first group of students."
The ‘World of Difference' is a unique flagship project for several Vodafone companies across the world. While many people dream of ‘making difference', constraints of time and money often curb the extent to which that dream can become a reality.
- The programme is about connecting passionate people to a local need, so they can complete a project that will make a sustained difference to the lives of others. In fact, it does enable individuals to work for a charity cause and be paid.
- Launched in 2002, by the end of 2010, 700 people will have taken - or be taking - part all over the world number of Vodafone operating companies around the world.
- To date, more than 100 projects have been completed, which have positively impacted the lives of thousands of people around the world.
"We are proud to bring the World of Difference projects to life," says Vodafone Qatar's CEO Grahame Maher. "In addition to being afirst in Qatar, this is an innovative approach that scores highly versus traditional grant-giving or philanthropy, leading the way to a different way of doing charity -not by simply donating money, but by sustaining people to fulfil their charitable projects for an entire year. We want to become the enabler who connects people with communities to make a world of difference for all people in Qatar."
The four winners ofthe World of Difference programme will provide updates on their projects and communicate their experiences on Vodafone internet site at www. Vodafone.com.qa.