Mercy Corps and Reach Out To Asia Join Forces to Expand Youth Activist Network

For Immediate Release

Mercy Corps
Contact: 

Na Eng, 917-623-8749, neng@nyc.mercycorps.org
Joy Portella, 206-437-7885 jportella@sea.mercycorps.org

Mercy Corps and Reach Out To Asia Join Forces to Expand Youth Activist Network

WASHINGTON - The global relief and development agency Mercy Corps today announced a bold new initiative with Reach
Out To Asia (ROTA) to truly internationalize the Global Citizen Corps, an
initiative that equips high school and college
students with critical skills to fight global poverty and mobilize others
toward peaceful change.

This
partnership with ROTA brings in $2 million of
support for the next three years, and will allow
the youth activist network to broaden its reach significantly across
continents. The program will bring youth together from the United States, United
Kingdom, Indonesia,
Pakistan, Iraq, Lebanon
and Gaza. 

“We are pleased to work alongside Mercy Corps to help
prepare young people for the great global challenges of their
generation,” said ROTA's Director, Omnia
Nour.  “By sharing our collective resources, we can make a powerful
difference in young people’s lives.”

The Global Citizen Corps uses social networking and video
conferencing technology to facilitate dialogue that encourages mutual respect
and advances cross-cultural understanding. Together, Global Citizen Corps
leaders from different countries study global issues such as climate change,
health care, conflict, water, education and human rights. They not only discuss
these issues in vibrant forums online but they also act on what they learn.  

Last year, Mercy Corps formed a
strategic partnership with Reach Out To Asia, a Qatar-based organization with
years of experience in education. In addition to co-operating on other
development initiatives, the two organizations are committed
to offering young people around the world the
knowledge and the management and communication skills to succeed. They
are
particularly interested in increasing opportunities for young people in
the Middle East, where 65% of the population is under the age
of 30 – many of whom have limited prospects for education and
employment.

ROTA’s support jumpstarts an effort to take the Global
Citizen Corps to more countries around the world. Founded five years ago as a
program for American high school students, the Global Citizen Corps later
expanded past US borders into Iraq,
the Gaza Strip and the UK.
To date, thousands of Middle Eastern and American youth have
engaged in educational and local advocacy projects that transformed the way
they see their role in society. Their activism has had a multiplier effect on hundreds
of thousands more of their peers. 

“The Global Citizen Corps is an incredibly powerful force
for peaceful social change,” said Robert Sherman. Sherman
is Executive Director of the Action
Center to End World
Hunger, and he oversees Mercy Corps’ youth engagement work.  

Sherman added,
“We are using the latest social media technology to directly link
students in the US, UK, Middle East and Asia
to one another – and thereby opening up eyes and dispelling myths in the
process. They may live in different circumstances, but they all need to develop
the confidence and the leadership skills to become engaged global
citizens.”

To learn more about the Global Citizen Corps, visit
www.globalcitizencorps.org.

About Mercy Corps: 

Mercy
Corps helps people in the world’s toughest places turn the crises of
natural disaster, poverty and conflict into opportunities for progress. Driven
by local needs and market conditions, our programs provide communities with the
tools and support they need to transform their own lives. Our worldwide team of
3,700 professionals is improving the lives of 16.7 million people in more than
40 countries. For more information, see www.mercycorps.org

About ROTA:

Reach Out To Asia (ROTA) is a Qatar-based non-profit organization
that empowers local communities by providing access to quality primary and
secondary education to children affected by crisis across Asia.
ROTA operates under the auspices of the Qatar
Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development and is chaired by
Her Excellency Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. Since its founding, ROTA and its partners have built or rehabilitated more
than 60 schools in five countries, provided educational access to more than
13,000 students and trained more than 1,000 teachers.  For more
information, see www.reachouttoasia.org.

 

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