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Three Qataris named winners of Vodafone’s ‘World of Difference’

Vodafone Qatar yesterday announced three winners of its “World of Difference” initiative for 2013.

Three Qatari winners were selected out of the 150 applicants due to their passion and dedication to bring about a positive change in Qatar. Now in its third year, “World of Difference” is part of the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme - Vodafone Better World.

Through the first-of-its-kind initiative in the country, Vodafone gives people the opportunity to receive funding for 12 months to undertake projects to help the community in Qatar. The projects can focus on any area, cause or social issue as long as it meets a local need and is 100% non-profit.

Vodafone received over 150 applications since it launched “World of Difference” in February, with a 35% increase in the number of Qatari applicants over previous years. This shows the Qatari community’s growing determination to play an active role in the country’s development.

The three Qatari winners are Mohamed al-Kuwari, Salwa al-Kuwari and Mohamed al-Matwi.

Mohamed al-Kuwari’s idea is to develop assistive informatics solution using RFID (radio frequency identification) and mobile technology to help people with visual impairment identify objects around them at home or in office easily, facilitating their navigation through spaces around them.

He has named his project “The Vodafone Eye”. His passion for science started at an early age and he is the first Qatari to obtain scientific patent rights.

Salwa al-Kuwari is the principal of Al Kawthar School for Girls. A few years ago, she felt that the youth needed to change their mindset in terms of how they viewed their role in society. There was also a need for a sense of self-awareness to unlock the youth’s potential and equip them with the right personal and professional skills.

In 2009, she launched the “You Shine” programme in her school. Three years later, it had expanded to 19 Qatari boys’ and girls’ schools - both middle and high. The programme reached more than 7,000 students and their parents, involving many influential role models in Qatari society. Vodafone will support her programme this year and help her expand it further.

Al-Matwi is a business administration student at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. He started a theatrical flash mob campaign in the university with the aim of raising awareness about road safety among the Qatari youth. His campaign, “Ahmeek-Protect You”, caught the imagination of students in Education City with its creativity and engaging scenes. Vodafone will support him in expanding his awareness campaign in Qatar to reach the wider community.

“We have no doubt that the winners’ passion and determination to make a difference will touch the lives of many people in Qatar,” said Dana Haidan, head of CSR, Vodafone Qatar.

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