The year 2023 marks the cultural exchange between Qatar and Indonesia, filled with various exciting activities. In late October 2023, professional volunteers from Qatar Museums representing various countries visited SMKN 1 ROTA Bayat, Klaten, as part of the Qatar Years of Culture 2023 programme. This initiative is the result of a longstanding relationship between the Titian Foundation and ROTA (Reach Out to Asia). ROTA is an educational organization based in Qatar that collaborated with Titian to build SMKN 1 ROTA in 2009.
The Volunteer Trip Qatar–Indonesia programme, in collaboration with the Titian Foundation, used to be held once or twice a year. However, the Covid-19 pandemic posed a challenge, leading to the programme’s suspension over the past three years. The current Volunteer Trip programme not only serves as the reopening activity after the pandemic but also stands out as a highly attractive event. This time, volunteers include not only students but also professionals in their respective fields.
Qatar Museums, in collaboration with Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar and Qatar Youth Hostels, organized a five-day workshop at the school. Twenty-three volunteers from Qatar, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Sudan, Iran, India, Cambodia, Palestine, the United States, and Belarus participated, interacting with 150 students from SMKN 1 ROTA Bayat, providing fresh perspectives and new knowledge to the students.
The workshop system, focusing on one type of particular learning material on each class throughout the event, made the learning experience more intense, enhancing the students’ understanding of the subjects. Students engaged in various creative disciplines, such as Digital Marketing, Event Organizing, Product Development, Photography, Videography, and Cultural Exchange. The workshops, led by volunteers, offered new insights to all students through valuable interactions. “The volunteers conducted a series of workshops to empower students with skills from various creative disciplines,” said Mr. Hazem Idriss, Head of Community Service at Qatar Museums.
The closing session of this Volunteer Trip was unique—each class contributed to the event by showcasing the products they created during their learning classes with the volunteers. Additionally, SMKN 1 ROTA Bayat had the opportunity to exhibit the best products created by students at ‘ROTA’s Corner’ in Innside Hotel, Yogyakarta. The exhibition was opened by Mrs. Nita Azhar and watched by all students and invited guests through a live stream, managed by the Event Organizing class and broadcasting team of SMKN 1 ROTA Bayat. The volunteers, who had discovered and trained their skill to play the gamelan, also presented a stunning gamelan performance, showing the beauty of cultural exchange.
“The volunteer activity this time is one of the best activities, with an impressive closing ceremony,” Hazem Idriss conveyed his impression at the end of the event. To express gratitude for the success of this programme in bringing benefits to both students and volunteers involved, Mrs. Lily Kasoem, Founder of the Titian Foundation, also stated, “Without strong and sustainable relationships with our friends in Qatar, we would not witness the valuable interactions of our young generation from various countries, sharing new knowledge from their respective cultures in this school.”