Last Graduation – A Happy Farewell


With so many things going around the Middle East, having been able to have such a valuable project gave me peace and calm much needed. I also feel that as things got a bit crazier, students enjoy the classes more because they were looking for a way to think about something else rather than the unrest around us. Fortunately, Qatar is one of the most stable countries and we were able to continue working on our project without any problem. As of March 2011, we have graduated almost 200 students and shared information about our program with at least 500. Volunteers from Qatar University added their valuable help and today I looked back at a year of success and hard work paying off.

I will probably write one more post before I definitely say goodbye to this project and to Doha, as I moved back to the States to raise my son and hopefully keep helping other communities. The USA is a great country but there are issues that need attention and I know that with the experience gained here I will be able to get involved in other community projects and make impacting lives lessons a long lasting endeavor.

I want to wish my best to all our graduates and to everyone that in any shape or form aided me and that provided our students with their love and patience. I know students as well as me will remember you forever and will keep you in a special place in our hearts.

Please enjoy the pics of our last graduation!!!


Raise Your Hand if you Like Saving!

Last week we had a great visit. Vasco Hoffman a financial expert I met wanted to show workers how they could microsave and also how to do financially safe shopping. Out of his own good heart, Vasco developed a simplified form that will help workers keep track of their every day spending and hopefully be able to get in the habit of saving a bit for emergencies. Workers enjoyed listening to Vasco and even learn how to buy a TV set, taking into consideration their budget and the functions they really needed from their new TV.  On behalf of impacting lives we thank you for your time.

Vasco Talking to Students

In 2011 It Only Gets Better

As the project starts its last phase. We are still lucky enough to find more students to interact with and to transmit the information they so greatly need. During this year I have seen the impact we have created, and I feel that every hour we spend with our students is really worth it and that they have benefited from our experience and the love and commitment we put into the program. This year has began we a spark of diversity in our classes. We had students from Burma, Ethiopia, Egypt, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. This has created a mix of cultures and the classes have only gotten better. These are the pics from our last session. Another proud group of graduates.



2011 Dreams

As the year begins I can’t stop reflecting in all the good things that happened during 2010. But as I look ahead I know is important to stay on task and keep working hard to finish this project with a bang. We will continue to teach until Mid March and I will keep you updated on what the next step for impacting lives will be. So Far we have learned a lot and I hope to bring this experience to the next level where we are able to reach more and more students.

This is a short clip summarizing impacting lives so far.

Impacting lives on the news.

DOHA: Four people from different walks of life in Qatar have touched many lives in different communities through Vodafone Qatar’s flagship charity programme ‘World of Difference’.

Already running for eight months, programme organisers said the projects are now in a sustainable phase and the results are making an impact in the local communities after the initial three months of setting it up.

‘Vodafone World of Difference’ connects passionate people to a local need, providing financial support so they can complete a project that will make a sustained difference to the lives of others.

Launched in April 2010, Vodafone Qatar World of Difference is giving four individuals a unique opportunity – to work for a local charity or community project of their choice for one year, with financial support from the Vodafone Qatar Charitable Fund.

Mohamed Kamal, a 21-year-old Qatari student, reaches out to disadvantaged families in the Najaa area and engages Education City students with the struggles of those families. Recently, Mohamed organised a photo exhibition to raise awareness on this topic at the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Georgetown University and Virginia Commonwealth University. To learn more, visit Mohamed’s blog

Giovanni Espinal is a Colombian/American teacher at Qatar University who is using funds from Vodafone World of Difference to teach ‘survival English’ to labourers – providing information so that workers are able to report an accident, understand their rights and the culture of Qatar. In just a few months, almost 100 students of six different nationalities have graduated from Giovanni’s classes. To learn more, visit Giovanni’s blog at

Another World of Difference project in Qatar is run by Margaret Gigliotti, an American fitness teacher who runs ‘Girls on the Go’, an after school programme which educates and prepares girls in mind, body and spirit for a lifetime of healthy living. Already 94 students from Qatar Academy, Doha College and Compass International American Schools, and 22 volunteers have enrolled to become ‘Girls On The Go’To learn more, visit

Julie Zawadzki’s project, Language Bridges, aims to deliver free basic English courses to migrant workers who cannot afford private classes. Since its launch, over 120 employees have attended Julie’s classes taught by volunteer teachers and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) students. To learn more, visit

Starting in New Zealand in 2003, more than 700 people will have undertaken 100 World of Difference projects to positively impact the lives of thousands of people in 30 countries by the end of 2010.

The Peninsula

And The Graduates Keep on Coming

It is the end of 2010. A year full of great learning and the fulfillment of a dream. I was able to touch the life of many workers and to spend time interacting with them. Thanks to the help of friends and volunteers I was also able to reach as many students as possible. But the adventure isn’t over yet. 2011 will continue to bring graduates and more fun to our project. I hope everyone who reads this blog has been inspired some how and that it will eventually encourage them to do something to help someone in need. Happy new year to all. Enjoy the pics from our latest graduates.


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We did it again

As it is customary in this blog I’m posting the pics of our new graduates. We do this for two purposes. Share with readers the progress and so far success of our project and also to give our students an opportunity to send this link to their family members so they can show them what they are doing in Qatar. It can not be all about work, and we want them to show their families that they are learning new skills that will help them in the future.

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