Programme aims to reach 1 million beneficiaries by 2022, educating and empowering young people through football
It was an unforgettable experience at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ for eight workers from India, Ghana, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, as they attended the tournament as ambassadors of the Generation Amazing programme and will now transmit their knowledge back to others in Qatar as coaches in their communities. The group was selected based on their outstanding contributions to the programme as well as their journey from participants to coaches over two years with Generation Amazing in Qatar, and have now become an inspiration to others after their five day trip to Russia 2018.
Bhulinder Singh, a Xavi Hernandez and Spain fan from India, was attending his first World Cup in Russia, with media back at home covering the news of the dream trip with a breaking news tagline on television.
´We have enjoyed this experience a lot over the past few days in Russia, we made new friends from different countries and it was amazing to attend our first World Cup match,´ Singh said on the final day of the visit to Moscow. ´We are blessed to have had this opportunity and would like to thank Generation Amazing and Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy for this unique chance.´
Together with his colleagues Singh flew the flag for Generation Amazing at the opening ceremony of the 2018 FIFA World Cup™, and the group quickly became an inspiration to others.
´Through media and social media we have already reached many people with our experience, and our families were very excited to see me at that level. Everyone thinks they can also achieve something like this. So they said that I am an inspiration for them. Qatar has given us this opportunity, and Generation Amazing is a platform to change an entire generation. We are bringing about social change by organising workshops and activities in our communities in Doha, and developing people further through football.´
Besides attending the opening match of Russia 2018, the group also benefitted from leadership workshops with 2010 FIFA World Cup™ winner Xavi Hernandez, and conducted a football activity in which Russian youth as well as international media took part.
´We have workers here from Qatar, but the programme also helps people in their home countries. As the word says, I think this programme is spectacular, so I am proud to have shared this experience with this group,´ said Xavi Hernandez, the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ winner and Generation Amazing ambassador. ´To be at a World Cup is a once in a lifetime experience, and I too am learning a lot every day from all those taking part in the fantastic project.´
For all those Generation Amazing ambassadors attending the opening week of the World Cup in Moscow, the focus was on learning from the unique experience to pass their knowledge on to others in Doha and their home countries.
´This programme develops the skills that we have in us, Generation Amazing discovered these capabilities and supported us to reach the top level,´ explained Sadique Rahman from India, speaking to Spanish sports newspaper AS as part of a range of media activities conducted by the group.
For Abdel Azeez Suleiman, 28, from Ghana, attending the tournament was the fulfilment of a lifelong ambition. At every stop on the programme, the skilful winger who has also taken part in the Workers Cup and currently works on Al Rayyan Stadium site for the 2022 FIFA World Cup™, was commended for his positive attitude and instant connection with different groups of fans.
´It was a dream come true for me to be selected to attend Russia 2018,´ the Liverpool FC fan said. ´It is a wonderful moment to be here because it was so unexpected. I am very grateful and my family said that I am on the way to achieving my dream. I have followed football in Ghana for so many years. Through Qatar and through Generation Amazing, my dream came true.”
Meanwhile, Dawood Irfan from India was particularly impressed by the interaction with Xavi Hernandez.
´One of the best experiences on this trip was being with Xavi. He is a big star but very down to earth, we got to know him well in the workshops and he shared his experiences and his challenges, as well as how he overcome them. It inspires me to be part of this project. Football breaks down all the barriers.´
Irfan is already thinking about how he can relate the experiences he made in Moscow back to others in Doha and in India.
“It has given us a great experience, and we look forward to Qatar hosting in 2022. I have been working with Generation Amazing since 2016. We have been engaging workers in our community. We engage all different types of workers, but the tool which Generation Amazing uses is outstanding to bond different communities from different backgrounds.”
´This has been a wonderful experience for everyone,´ said Isabel Gultresa, CSR Senior Manager. ´This is the first time that Generation Amazing offers the opportunity to invite a group of workers to a World Cup game, in addition to the group of youth ambassadors who will be going to Russia soon.´
´It has been a complete success for the participants, who have been involved in workshops, training sessions, interviews with media, as well as attending their first World Cup match, and for those who are coordinating the programme. We hope this is only the start of a lot more such successes and believe that we can reach one million beneficiaries until 2022.
In addition to the group of workers who have now returned to Doha after their successful trip, Generation Amazing will take sixteen youth ambassadors from Qatar, India, Philippines, Nepal and Pakistan to attend matches of Russia 2018. This programme follows on from similar Generation Amazing visits to South Africa 2010, where 25 youth ambassadors travelled, and Brazil 2014, where 22 youth ambassadors were involved.
At the end of an inspirational trip, Generation Amazing ambassador Sirajul Islam Howlader from Bangladesh concluded with a beaming smile: ´I was so excited to be in the stadium. Before this I watched four World Cup tournaments on TV. Our house in the village had no television, so we had to go to a friend´s house to watch the games. Now Generation Amazing has brought me here, to Moscow, to see my first match in person.´
´I came to Qatar for work. I never thought I would go to a World Cup. Generation Amazing and my company QDVC sent me to the World Cup, and not many from my country get the chance to see this great event. We have already started on a small scale with Generation Amazing balls and bibs in my village, through my brother who has taken the programme there. This is about passing on what you have learnt, and helping others to improve their lives.´