The Journey of Mission20
Amanat Solanki, the founder’s account.
Note: The is raw history without any editing was written by Amanat Solanki, Founder in December 2014 for narrating in one of the ceremony. Editing and adding content after ‘2014’ was done between 26th Dec – 1st Jan Midnight for the magazine which was released on 20th February 2017, the 10th Anniversary of Mission20
Grade 8 (2006-2007)
Our beginning was never to come this far but wasn’t too late when we decided to go long way and on the way decided to discover the routes, our decade of presence was all due to discovering the purpose and the routes.
I use to participate in some world environment day activities since grade 7 in my high school which was MES Indian School. While I was in grade 8, ones Shakil Sir (In-Charge of Scouts and Guides, Coordinator for Environmental Affairs in MES Indian School and the Founder of Kainat Foundation) came to my class, just pointed at me and said “meet behind the stage in the 2nd break. He gave to reason and I had no idea but he being a star in the eyes of all students, I was scared and happy at the same time, there was a reason why I was scared. Few days before few of grade 8 classes had a visit to Friends of Environment Center as a part of some environmental project, before getting in to the bus we had to do a roll call and Nabeel standing near me cracked some joke, this made most of the students there laugh, Shakil sir thought it was me who said the joke as we both looked very similar and I was asked to leave and go back to attend the class with some nerds who chose to stay and do their school work, that feeling seeing all my friends enjoy the visit and me stay back was so bad. I was scared of the fact that sir already had bad impression about me. As I went to behind the stage, I could see some seniors and other scouts, he actually asked to make a group for the upcoming huge event for 10 thousand labours. I with few of my friends volunteered in Labour day celebrations held in my school, organized by Embassy of India on 16 February 2007, we worked there for 12 hours straight, we all had some roles wearing a simple white uniform with scout scarf and bray since I wasn’t in scouting till then. During that event I was impressed by a group wearing black suit, they were probably 4 years senior to us, the group was called EBU (Emergency Backup Unit), and they were scout leaders and senior members of Kainat Foundation. At that stage I knew Kainat Foundation but what was the motive of their existence was not known to me. So I just asked one of the members of EBU if I can join their group, like any other senior-junior relationship he laughed at me and said sorry you can’t. It didn’t bother me actually and I just forgot it.
After a few days we attended flowers of each spring program in Al Khor, the trip was organized by the person who is the inspiration behind what we are today, it was Shakil Sir. I didn’t know that this bus trip would result in formation of today’s Mission20. So when we were travelling to Al Khor, Shakil sir started talking to us about why we are going to this trip, why we need to be conscious of our environment and how we can help make a difference in the lives of others. He asked everyone in the bus if they can form small-small groups and take up different projects. Everyone in the bus heard it, but I took it to my heart, I was excited about it, I was thinking I can also be like my seniors, I can also be in black suits and be the leader, I nearly 14 then. The next day of the trip I went to the school and spoke to my friends if they would like to join the group. I wanted to have limited number of members so initially I had only those people who were like minded and were close to me, we started with around 8 members with a funny name, ISF (Internal Security Force), this was after thinking a lot and frankly I never knew there was something called ISF in Qatar already, firstly we thought our work will be like scouting and volunteering to maintain security of the events and so on but soon after some programmes we changed our name to Kainat Youth In Action (KYIA) after properly joining the volunteer programs of Kainat Foundation. This is where our proper journey with Kainat Foundation started. Slowly the number of members increased and I agree most of them joined because of friendship and to miss some of their classes. But there were some who really wanted to work for the betterment of the society and those are still with us.
Grade 9 (2007-2008)
As time passed we got more involved in scouting and activities of Kainat Foundation, learned a lot from the visionary leader (Shakil Sir) who was not less than a celebrity for us. We started working with EBU and I remember after we formed the group, few more groups came up just before the science exhibition in grade 9 I think, there were nearly 10 groups like us of our seniors and juniors but now NONE of them exist. We always wanted to take it higher. During all those we started saving our pocket money to adopt a child for education and I think towards end of grade 8 or beginning of grade 9 we gave our first donation which was around 400Qr, being a small group we could actually donate. I remember ones donating ‘ediya’ or the money I got as Eid gift for putting up few windows in the Kainat School. Initially my parents were not happy with what I did, because I actually couldn’t verbally explain what I was involved in, and I didn’t explain what Kainat Foundation was for me, anyways that was a different time. Sometimes you need a right TEACHER to teach these important lessons, very rare these days!
As time passed by, we got more mature and started understanding the meaning of ‘Living for others’, our team had members joining and leaving because as I said not every person came in with the actual motive. I am very thankful to my parents who supported me even if my activities didn’t make any sense to them and I am sure every member of Mission20 went through the same situation. We introduced Qr. 1/day as a donation for education of unprivileged children in Kainat Foundation to be more committed.
Now we were at the end of grade 9, we normally were playful in nature but always forefront in extracurricular activities and helping the school and community in organizing different functions, but we weren’t excellent in studies especially science related subjects like Physics, Biology and Chemistry. We were struggling because the education system was as usual traditional one with no motivation and encouragement from the system, then our HERO, Shakil Sir came forward considering his duty to not only train and educate us about humanity but also academics for our better future, he started taking science classes being a science teacher by profession and the first class was on the second day of eid-ul-adha, only 4 students attended, I wasn’t one of them because of family engagements but I with other members joined from the next day. These classes were the best classes we attended in our schooling life, the concept of science were thought in a funny and unique way. More students joined by seeing the difference when we answered the questions in the classroom, even people who were not our group members joined. These classes continued till the exams after school hours, it was an extra coaching, we use to do lunch all together like a big family with cream and bread, I cannot describe how great the experience was and you will be shocked, Shakil Sir NEVER took any fee from any student for his efforts. I salute this spirit of a true teacher. At the end we had a target of completing our one year’s science portion in 20 days, it was a mission and we named this mission as Mission20. Still our group’s name was KYIA. During all these we made sure to be active in Kainat Foundation related tasks.
Grade 10 (2008 – 2009)
After passing the exams with very good marks, we were promoted to the 10th grade and here is when we decided to change our groups name to Mission20, many people joined us from the coaching class we had. Anyhow we made our strength of members to 20 to look good. Now we had more unity and probably more attitude. With a bigger team we contributed more towards humanity with Kainat Foundation and scouting, we had our new logo made up, new ID cards, first stamp, started recording internal donations on receipts, membership fees were already in place to manage administrative costs, we already had dress codes and functional positions within the group, we wanted to make sure we show utmost professionalism back then.
It is very difficult for me to recall each and every initiative and each and every step of ours along with the dates, I never thought this time will come where we will be telling our story to the masses, this group has traveled a long way like a stream of water with people joining and leaving at every step of our journey, but as the stream of water goes on we travelled long way and you can see where we are now, celebrating 10 years, still there is a long way to travel. We have faced many problems in the group especially myself because of our immaturity but we learned with everything happened to us. At several times I acted as a ‘One Man Army’. I don’t want to recall those who were or are part of Mission20 remembers this and should be proud that no matter what happened in the group due to internal or external reasons, we are still strong. Our journey is not like many established groups who just plan, register and start working on their plans and grow accordingly, our journey was altogether a different thing with a learning experience at every step. I cannot recall all our small achievements but surely I will speak about our big achievements soon. I remember for the annual magazine ‘The Kainat 08’ of Kainat Foundation, my design was selected as its cover page, I was very proud and excited about it but I was more happy after the deep conversation I had with Shakil Sir, he asked me ‘What do you want to be in life’, without any second thought I said ‘a businessman’ like my father, he was already running Baghdad Decoration Co. & Solanki Trading & Contracting Co., I said I want to start and own ‘Solanki Group of Companies’. Sir said, “ok, put an ad of your company in The Kainat 08 magazine, I was shocked… told my dad that I can put a free ad in the magazine, anyhow I got a basic half page ready. It was back then in 2009 I dreamt of Solanki Group and now I have Solanki Mission Enterprises/Group/Int. Mission20 has made me dream big and work on my dreams.
We became very strong at scouting and took up leadership roles even when our seniors were there. It was all about able to give time and manage academic and non-academic activities which most of us learned by then. It was inspiring to know that you are not only a role model to your junior but even the seniors look up to you, I thank Almighty, my parents and Shakil Sir for this. I represented Mission20 with the scout delegation to meet the then Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Sign in November 2008, which itself was a great sacrifice and achievement.
Grade 11 (2009 – 2010)
We successfully finished our grade 10 and then it was a tough time in the lives of many but not mine because I knew what I wanted to study further, many had to make a choice between Commerce (Business/Management) and science streams. Finally all of us chose the field we wanted to be in, I chose commerce and started our final 2 years in the high school. We got more power in the school and more recognition in the community. We started giving more time in the management activities of Kainat Foundation in every possible way to attain its goals and that is how we developed, you see this is how Shakil Sir mentored us, he involved us in many decisions and let us do things our own way and would correct whenever it was necessary. As I started grade 11 in commerce, I was also appointed as the assistant adventure club secretary of the MES Indian School.
In June 2009 I was fortunate enough to be in a scout team representing my school and Qatar for a World Jamboree trip to Turkey where we stayed in jungle for nearly 9 days along with some sightseeing with scouts from Turkey and other countries. Being senior in the team and Mission20 representative, I learned a lot from this international experience.
It was in grade 11th when we actually dreamt about sponsoring to build a hall in Kainat School, we knew that many VIPs of Indian community has sponsored to build a hall in Kainat school, it was the first time a young group of Kainat Foundation was willing to sponsor a hall, it was a big thing for us, seemed impossible but wasn’t, we started with our daily contribution and raised it slowly.
In grade 11, the mid of 2009 Nabeel initiated a small football tournament just for fun and in the final match it was branded as Mission’s Trophy, our first newspaper report was about this tournament after the final match. As the time passed by we became more known and responsible. During this time a group from our own batch of grade 11 inspired by Shakil Sir’s vision and our actions came up and named it self as YKM (Young Kainat Members), we worked together and have lots of funny memories from our work in scouting and later in Kainat Foundation.
In 2009 we did our first Ramadan Project to prepare and give away iftar and dinner packets to nearly 45 labours, we started this when there were not so many Ramadan activities and iftar distributions happening and even the Ramadan tents which we see now almost everywhere distributing free food were just in small numbers in 2009. And now we have successfully done this from past 8 years in Qatar, and last few years in Pakistan and India as well. To many of our seniors and juniors it was an inspiration that without any support from elders except cooking the main course, we prepared & delivered the rest ourselves. After we finished grade 11 and before starting grade 12, towards the end of March 2010, 5 members of Mission20 (Amanat, Nabeel, Sufiyan, Ramiz & Talha) visited different parts of India on a scout tour, we also got the opportunity to visit Kainat Foundation’s base in Bihar, a state in India. We always worked for Kainat School but never visited before, this trip made us see a different side of the world, in Kainat School I could see the hunger of education in this small village, this experience helped us in working for humanity with our full dedication. In this trip we not only met the officials of Kainat Foundation and Kainat School and the students but we laid the foundation stone of what we dreamt to accomplish, we laid the foundation stone of Mission20 hall and donated our first donation in Indian currency, this step kept us focused on our mission.
Grade 12 (2010 – 2011)
As we entered grade 12 few of us got official leadership roles in scouting, during that time there were roughly more than 400 scouts from class 4th till 12th. And in grade 12 that was in 2010 I got my driving license somehow which made our life much easy, this year we organized our first and only cricket tournament at the end of August 2010, this tournament was organized after a unique thought. We thought we have a mission to build Mission20 hall and now we are in grade 12, till when will we just donate small amount every day, will we reach our target before we leave school because ones we are done with high school it will be very tough for me to encourage all the members to donate and I may not see many people, but then an idea struck my mind, we have so much energy, we know sports very well, we have organizing and communication skills, why not organize a cricket tournament, this very small 3-day tournament got us profit of Qr. 2000 which boosted our scale in the target.
In the month of Ramadan of 2010 we did our 2rd annual Ramadan project with more people to be served.
The same year we had the most successful football tournament which was to support the Qatar 2022 Bid for Fifa and most importantly to raise funds for Mission20 hall in Kainat School, 10 teams participated, it was a great success for Mission20 and from then Mission’s Trophy became a favorite tournament for many. The funds we raise actually comes from the teams who participate by giving us participating fees.
Apart from the tournament I remember we had been participating in Diabetes Day Awareness Walk over the years. In 2010 December we started our relation with Hope Qatar to help them in Message of Hope events in Qatar over the years.
One of the best last memories was from the last winter camp we participated as students was in December 2010 for 2 nights and 2 days where most of the Mission20 members participated. Our first night was 2nd December 2010, this day is the most important day in the history of Qatar. I was out on the scout duty to finish some task but I was glued to my mobile checking update on Facebook and in touch with Arun who was in front of the TV screen, then I got the best news of my life, Qatar won the FIFA 2022 bid!!! I stopped my car, called Mr. Simon Cory-Wright, the Sponsorship & PR Manager at the Qatar 2022 Bidding Committee, the phone ranged but he didn’t pick up so I sent him a congratulatory message. I checked my Facebook and came to know that the Doha Corniche is filled with people celebrating the success, I called Shakil sir and took permission to celebrate with my friends and joined later at night. The Mission’s Trophy 2010, we wouldn’t call Mission’s Trophy 2010 tournament a success if Qatar wouldn’t have won the FIFA 2022 bid.
2011 (After school)
In 2011 March it was time for us to graduate from the high school and conquer the outside world, it was a tough time for us to leave all our memories and our fun we had in the school of course that was our next step to success. Mission20 always operated independently though we were legally under the umbrella of Kainat Foundation. As we finished high school we had to make bigger decisions for the group’s management, the roles and responsibilities of many members changed, some addition and deduction of the members took place as now we were out of the school and some of the members left for higher studies, some joined College of the North Atlantic – Qatar, Stenden University and other institutions.
Before joining college we did our 3rd annual Ramadan project in the month of Ramadan in 2011, we were happy to see lot of organizations and ministries distributing food packets for iftar and lots of tents around.
Joining CNA-Q was a great step for me and Mission20 as CNA-Q till now played an important role in our development like providing an environment in which we could work in, and also helped with so many resources. I thank all those who made Mission20’s initiatives in CNAQ smooth and successful especially Dr. Ken, CNA-Q President and Student Affairs Department, Marketing Department and others.
In June 2011 we signed an important contract with Qatar Today Magazine to be an Activation Partner for Green Programme for Schools; the programme ran nearly 9 months in 27 schools to create environmental awareness among the grass root level. It was one of the best idea to inculcate these habits in students’ as they grow up with it.
I with some of our current members at that time joined CNA-Q in September 2011, one of the best decision I made.
In October 2011 we got busy in organizing our 3rd Annual Football Tournament with 16 teams participated this time, again a tournament to raise money for the Mission20 hall and this was our final donation to build the hall. We were happy that we could reach our target in this way. These tournaments not only help us raise money for the causes but give the youngsters a platform to play and show their talent, make right use of their energy and keep them fit. We were also active in volunteering for Qatar National Day activities & celebrations organized by Ministry of Interior.
On February 14, 2012 Mission20’s football team played a friendly match against CNA-Q on Qatar National Sports Day and won with the score of 4-0. In CNA-Q we did our first fundraising campaign for Syrian Refugees in April 2012, the donated amount was given to Qatar Red Crescent.
During all these our responsibilities like working with Kainat Foundation and responding to any basic needs in the society continued.
On November 6th 2012 we ended our long Green Programme for Schools with a final awards ceremony for the best performing schools. Khalifa Al Haroon of iloveqatar.net was the MC and that’s when he started recognizing Mission20, it paved a way for us to be known in the community which helped us in getting more volunteers.
In June 2012 we started our second and a long fundraising campaign, it was after Amanat’s visit to Bangladesh with Reach Out to Asia to teach at the Non Formal Education Centers, after he came back, Mission20 started this campaign in CNA-Q with different activities running through out 2 semesters and finally on 9th December 2012 we handed over the amount to ROTA to build 2 non formal education centers in the area where refugees from Myanmar stay, this is the area where Amanat visited with ROTA. This trip gave me new perspective in life, new purpose & direction for our humanitarian work, the real interaction with under privileged is important to balance our lives, teaching the kids made me value what I have and what education I am getting, but more than that I understood the importance of education in these communities, their interest level was just amazing, they only needed some push and initiatives like these.
As the fundraising for Bangladesh was going on, we already started our 4th annual football tournament which was better and bigger. We ended 2012 with our first success party ever of Mission’s Trophy 2012 which was only exclusive to the Mission20 members, Shakil sir and an official from Qatar Olympic Committee.
In between we use to get lots of messages from school students and youth groups of how they can do different projects and I use to kind of mentor them and show directions.
In 2013 along with working for Kainat Foundation and other small projects, we organized our first Blood Donation Campaign in CNA-Q on 9th and 10th June with 214 people attended, this campaign was successful and something new for us, and new feather was attached to our cap.
In the 5th Ramadan project in 2013, we first time accepted donations from outsiders and also started distributing water and dates on the busy signals on selected days during the month of Ramadan.
Again in 2013 we had made some changes to our management with change in roles of some people, some more addition and deduction in the group took place when we made our values more strict being youngsters, image and our values mattered the most to me.
In 2013 we celebrated the 5th year of Mission’s Trophy – Football Tournament, it was a great tournament organized by a small group of organizers from Mission20. We ended our year with appreciation party which was known as success party in the previous year, also inviting the volunteers and all those who were involved in the success of Mission’s Trophy 2013 after the tournament.
We tried something different this year, we introduced an In-Kind Donation campaign in some universities with Qatar Charity and placed permanent and temporary in-kind donation boxes to collect clothes, bags, books, electronics etc. due to the response from social media marketing we use to get lots of calls from professors and teachers leaving the country to come and collect items from their homes, we coordinated with Qatar Charity official to provide these services as well.
In March 2014 we organized our 2nd annual blood donation campaign in CNA-Q along with awareness of fitness and healthy living through brochures and social media awareness.
The next month, 26th and 27th April 2014 was the best so far, we were Organizing Partner with Qatar Charity for Guinness World Record Attempt to collect most clothes in 24 hours in Aspire, and we broke the previous record of Vietnam which was 12.111tons by collecting 29.656tons. The clothes were sent to the needy communities in Central African Republic, Yemen and Philippines. This was the biggest achievement for us, the amount of media coverage we got was huge, I am really thankful Qatar Charity for choosing us to be their partner in this and of course the Mission20 organizers and volunteers who made it a huge success.
In the mid May 2014 a group in Qatar University with our help raised money to donate gifts to the students of special needs from Hope Qatar and before the campaign we had an official visit to the science exhibition by special needs students of Hope Qatar.
We were awarded for our initiatives Blood Donation campaigns and awareness on 14 June in St, Regis Hotel, a special function organized by Hamad Medical Corporation to mark the International Blood Donor Day.
At the end of June 2014, students in CNA-Q raised Qr. 40610 as a part of business project by selling food on 3 days, I was also part of this as a student and it was supported by Mission20. At the end the whole amount was donated to us and it was used in improving education infrastructure and course materials in Kainat School in India.
In the blessed month of Ramadan for the first time Mission20 organized Ramadan project activities outside Qatar as a part of 6th annual Ramadan project, apart from giving one day iftar and dinner to more than 50 labours and distributing water and dates on signals, we gave one month groceries to 23 families in India and iftar parcels to around 1500 people on 3 different days in Pakistan through our supporter.
Upon seeing an immediate need in Gaza, we launched a fundraising campaign mainly online based with Eid Charity and in a week we were able to raise around Qr. 20000 to send it to Gaza before Eid Ul Fitr. The campaign continued after eid also.
In September we launched the 6th Annual football tournament which began in November 2014 and team registration was open. We launched the tournament with a new logo and new identity to Mission’s Trophy. Every year we had new logo for Mission’s Trophy but the mascot stayed same, this time we planned for a permanent logo and identity.
On 6th November we launched our latest and the best logo and the 5 pillars/objectives (Education for Underprivileged, Youth Empowerment, Community Development, Sports & Fitness and Health & Environmental Awareness), the logo was designed by one of our big supporter, Hassen Rathore, he is an amazing graphic designer and branding consultant by profession. Logo itself had a story behind it. One fine day I stepped in brother Hassen’s office and said I need a change in our identity, and I have some bigger plans, and logo change is most important now, our logo should explain of who we are and what our identity stands for… after pouring my heart out he said give me few days. After few days we showed me 3 logos, in 6 different types. I chose two logos and asked him to mix it both and now we have the best logo ever, the logo describes all my emotions and the vision I have for Mission20. I was planning for something different and big, I shared it with my team back then. I wanted to register Mission20 with the Government of Qatar and work without representing any country, we wanted to work for humanity with the youth from different nationalities as global citizens.
We ended our month long tournament on 29th November which started on 6th November 2014. The players were very talented but rarely plays a tournament of this standard. A week before the final match on November 18th we released our iconic trophy which will be the same design in the coming years. The final match and award ceremony had guests from sponsors, officials of Al Arabi club and a special guest from Oman. Every year we have a similar setup were the trophies and awards are given by esteem guests and proper media coverage is given after the final match.
On December 1, 2 and 3 2014, our delegation attended CSR Qatar 2014 Summit in Doha to learn more about CSR, the best practices from the leaders in CSR in Qatar and the region and of course the recognition and appreciation we got was very pleasing. We were the only student group and the only participants of our age, rest all of them were heads of their companies or departments. I can say this was our step to learn more about CSR and its science.
In December 2014 we signed a contract as an activation partner for the 2nd edition of the Green Programme for Schools and the main activation will started in February 2015. It was always awesome to go back to schools, talk to students, motivate them and learn from their ideas.
We ended the year with a success party recognizing ceremony for Mission’s Trophy 2014 with organizers, volunteers and supporters.
As I was done with my studies from College of the North Atlantic – Qatar in December mid but had few months to officially graduate and move to Dubai for bachelors, I was still a student officially with lots of free time in my hand. This free time was already planned to be utilized in getting Mission20 officially registered with Government of Qatar, till then we were under the umbrella of Kainat Foundation affiliated to ICC, Indian Embassy. With lots of thinking and research I thought we should be registered as a CSR Events Management and Consultants and still run as nonprofit. This is what we were doing but now at bigger level, involving big corporations and organizations for social responsibility projects, trying to explore more of how we can support the betterment of the society and humanity at large. I envisioned that this would be the best idea because we wanted to fund lot of projects through the company profits instead of looking for sponsors for it, this is very difficult job, and sometimes I feel I am begging because many companies here do not understand CSR and corporate philanthropy, we wanted to invest back development of the organization, hire right talent and work full time in this nonprofit startup, but things didn’t work out very well.
I started the company registration process myself, with no such experience before I went to ministry offices, consulted people and finally decided to register MISSION20 with a general events license because there was no special license for CSR Event Management, the biggest issue was the name, Mission20 name was not accepted due to strange reason because it had a number in the name Mission’20’. With lots of going back and forth, convincing them etc. there was also a time when I was not treated well because I had to convince some officers but they didn’t even have minute to talk to me, I struggled for more than a months and then finally on 15th January I registered Solanki Mission Enterprises with a events license, I had to register with this name which I planned to register after finishing all my studies in 2016. There was no way I could change Misssion20 in to any other name, I registered Solanki Mission Enterprises and on 1st February 2015 officially made Mission20 as the Social Responsibility Division of Solanki Mission Enterprises, we changed the branding accordingly to show the organizational change. Mission20 as a youth organization stills operates independently as nonprofit but under the same leadership, Mission20 operations and the profit making operations will always be different under different operating teams but Mission20 also act as the charity arm of the Solanki Mission, any charity or community work of my businesses will be done through Mission20. Many times profit businesses start first and then we think giving back to the humanity, but in our case, I started a nonprofit organization first and then with inspiration of working on my own dreams and carrying forward by family occupation, I started Solanki Mission to work on my business dream and help the community through social enterprises and fund the projects and administration of Mission20. As many things changed so did my plans.
By the time all these were happening I got a temporary job in CNA-Q without any CV or interview but just an email telling me about the work and if I am interested. I thought for a while and said to myself ‘what about my plans for Mission20?’ then I thought it’s alright, I can handle this. So I started my work in the last week of January 2015 as a Project Coordinator in Student Affairs Department for a two months but after twice contract extensions I ended up working for nearly 6 months with some amazing projects in my hand, one of the biggest was Auto Safety Fair, I liked the projects because it was a social responsibility project, I had to deal with 5 different departments of Ministry of Interior, Hamad Medical Corporation, and lot of other private and government organizations to bring them together for huge 2-days fair and awareness in which Mission20 was also having a booth for public awareness. We celebrated the Kainat Foundation anniversary inviting old volunteers, community supporters and patrons but we had to do this without Shakil sir as he was in India for good, we got reasonable response from the attendees.
As a routine event we did our 3rd blood donation campaign in College of the North Atlantic Qatar for two days by the March end, amazing response from students and staff there, CNAQ is just like a global village, we see faces from so many nationalities with high spirit of giving.
A Guinness world record each year? Yes in 2015 we got another event for Guinness World Records, Smile Hypermarket wanted to do a world record for the largest human smiley, Mission20 became the organizing partner again to form the human smiley by managing 4000+ participants from their busses, to seats, lunch, gift distributions and smiley formation in a stadium here in Qatar on 27 March 2015. We chose to do this event because it was a corporate social responsibility event for all the participants were labours and we wanted to make sure their only weekly holiday is well spent and they are treated well throughout the hours of experience.
As we started the 2nd Edition of Green Programme for School in February 2015, we ended it in around 23 June 2015 with a huge ceremony attended by students from all the participating schools, officials from corporate and government entities and media. I was the MC of the event, it was my first experience of being a MC and standing on the stage for the whole event, I am little stage shy person but can’t move back from responsibilities, it’s always great to address students. I remember ones during the campaign I visited my own high school, I made sure I visit the school instead of sending any volunteers team. I thought that I have to just meet the teacher and some students but to surprise I was escorted to the auditorium where a huge crowd of boys and girls were waiting for an ‘official from GPS’, and it was me, I was treated differently by the teachers there, I wasn’t prepared but thank god I had some posters, stickers and board to show and talk about and of course it was our second year to I knew in and out of the campaign.
The Ramadan project this year was again a special one, we targeted to send more parcels as compared to previous years, we distributed water bottles and dates at the signals just before the time to break the fast for the motorists who can’t make it home on time, and we started this in 2013.
By August 2015, we made huge changes to our team, we definitely had to get new members on board, so all the members were screened, new were invited based on specific positions and some of the current members got specific positions. All the members who were not in Qatar and those who did not get any special position or duty were in the Board of Directors team and all those who were new and got specific role were in Operations Team. I gave tasks of both the teams and we started working as a company but we all were volunteering, no one was a paid employee. We now had females also in the Operations Team.
OT will speak why they joined
We planned the activities well, our focus was more on social media, increasing the volunteer base and more virtual awareness. We created videos of health awareness, for humanitarian day like acts of kindness. We focused on building the website, marketing tools etc.
We started planning for Mission’s Trophy 2015, did most of the back stage work but due to some logistic issues we had cancel it that year
It was a very difficult decision, even I moved to Dubai to do my bachelors and Mission’s Trophy then became a big question mark, so many messages I use to personally get from old players and teams questioning why we have cancelled it after announcing.
We did focused on UN days and did considerable amount of awareness on social media for the cause behind the UN days.
I stayed in Dubai and did our weekly meetings through Skype, I could feel and see my absence wasn’t good for Mission20, but the sacrifice was necessary, being in Dubai apart from my education I was able to discover, learn and mostly importantly network more. I am glad I spent my time there, I have met amazing talented people there, well known entrepreneurs and winners in their field and still we are in touch through my association in an amazing international group, this is very beneficial for Mission20 and its projects. My stay there brought so many amazing things in my life.
Mission20 celebrated the International Volunteers Day 2015 in Flower of Each Spring site in Alkhor, invited volunteers, celebrated and thanked their involvement, awarded them, it was a very private and small gathering with more focus on relaxing and enjoying with BBQ and volleyball game. I was actually watching the gathering through skype from Dubai and sent my recorded message.
Beginning of 2016 I was in Qatar on my winter break, we started working on the 3rd edition of Green Programme for schools by Qatar Today magazine. We were also in talk with Qatar Charity to partner up for their Yestahloon campaign. It was a unique campaign in which we sell gift coupons to the public so they can gift these coupons to labours and workers they meet so they can use the coupons to buy clothes and other items from Qatar Charity’s TAYF outlets in different parts of Qatar. We did the campaign to spread awareness and sell maximum coupons, we had our booth in different schools, universities and few malls. I remember ones I was in Doha British School for Yestahloon campaign, the response was just amazing, and the interest of the students there to help the labours was very appreciative.
I travelled back to Dubai after my winter break, sad that my mind and heart was exploding with ideas and plans but wasn’t there on the ground. On 8th February, the anniversary of Kainat Foundation, Mission20 celebrated it in two countries, the team here celebrated it in the office and I did a small celebration with my good friends and longtime supporter of kainat Foundation, Bilal in UAE.
I came back to Qatar in a month to celebrate our 9th anniversary on 20 February 2015, it was the first time we were celebrating the anniversary in 9 years, strange but true, had to do go back in times to actually know the exact date we started in February 2007, seeing old certificates, meeting agenda sheets etc. That’s true, I never ever thought in those days that now we will be celebrating 10 years but now I am sure god willing that we will complete 20, 30 and more years working for the humanity. On the 9th anniversary we had done a normal event thanking the team and volunteers, we had a special talk by the guest speaker Mr. Habibun Nabi on how youth, individuals and corporates can join hands for humanitarian work. Mr. Habibun Nabi has been one of the biggest supporter of Mission20 since 2010 and on that day he formally accepted to be the Patron of Mission20. We also did a brainstorming session towards the end to get more ideas based on our objectives.
During the 9th anniversary event we also took an official pledge for road safety, a campaign organized by Aster.
Next day of the anniversary I flew back to Dubai, while I was there I got selected to attend Global Education & Skills Forum by Varkey Foundation and also the Global Teachers Prize ceremony also known as Oscar for teachers, attended by the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, I was honoured to represent Mission20 and Qatar in this two-day forum, made enormous connections, discussed education related ideas and my dream for an education institution for the underprivileged in future.
I was also able to be part of International Youth Leadership Conference in Dubai which I attended for the first time in 2014. I try not to miss any opportunity for connecting with youth and spreading our mission.
I was back to Qatar for a month before the final exams, we started planning the Mission’s Trophy 2016 for October – November and this time we wanted to make sure it happens and happens bigger. But after more than a month of planning we had to move it few months ahead which would fall in 2017, we decided we have it in March 2017 so we could have grounds available and not too many tournaments are going on because between September – December lot of other football tournaments happen.
After I was finally back, we planned the Ramadan Project 2016, we wanted to have it completely different, we were so happy to see lots of groups and companies with different initiatives in Qatar for Ramadan. We changed our focus for that year, we donated one month groceries to 30 families in Bihar, India through Kainat Foundation and 4 days of prepared Iftar and dinner to nearly 1000 people in Rajasthan, India.
What an experience and challenging it was to arrange all the stuff, get it cooked, do shopping by myself with just some guidance on day1, got the dinner cooked in the restaurant. In 4 days we distributed around 1000 iftar and dinner packets in poor localities of Fatehpur, Rajasthan. I was there to visit my extended family, we located the poor localities nearby the area I was staying. It was difficult because of strange response among kids. Finally it was an experience I can never forget.
Travelling back and forth, I also got to attend Global Youth Leaders Summit organized by Bright Society for Youth & Alumni of Aligarh Muslim University. It was a different experience but most important thing was the life time friendship I made with some awesome people who are also working for great causes in India, it helps to partner with them on the ground, they see the real need and come up with sustainable solutions, unlike in our case sitting in a privileged and fortunate country. The programs of this summit was conducted in 3 different states, got an opportunity to see Barefoot College in Tilonia, Rajasthan which is visited by some of the world leaders, Taj Mahal etc. The last leg of the summit was to spend two nights and a day in Aligarh Muslim University, it was a dream come true for me because the importance this institution holds. I met some fine hospitable friends there. I was so happy to see my dear friend from Malaysia whom I met in Dubai and we both are in the same International Group (Like-Hearted) based in Dubai, Irfan Khairi an internet millionaire and guru who accepted my invitation and visited India to give a talk on Internet startups in the historic Strachey Hall of Aligarh Muslim University. The overall experience of this 5 days summit was good and give me some future plans.
(members add some experience
In October 2016 I visited Dubai again to attend M Powered Summit and Global Islamic Economy Summit, Mission had already given me a vision in life of what I want to do in terms of work, I had already started a social enterprise as a result of that. I believe that charity is not enough, as entrepreneurs we need to innovate and bring sustainable solutions to our businesses, we need to work for environmental protection, we need to provide products ethically sourced, we need to empower youth to bring a change; it’s a lot said of CHANGE but what does change really mean? There is no definite meaning of CHANGE or it may mean different in different context or even countries. For me it was about providing youth a platform to work, think and grow through my startups, it’s about connecting social responsibility with work, startups and businesses, it was about buying from startups and promoting their business instead of all running to the successful brands and retails or service providers. We need to bring a balance, I see lot of unhealthy competition, competition is good not the unethical one. My purpose of attending these conferences is not only to learn and network but also to spread the message that every business should work towards humanity out of their profits as always want to do, any business I am involved in, I want to directly and indirectly support the mission of Mission20.
During my visit to Dubai I came to know Brother Ali Banat from Australia is in Dubai, I messaged him and met the brother who is running MATW charity organization while being cancer diagnosed, this huge shock in his life changed his lifestyle and he started the charity mission, he willingly addressed our crowd through a video message encouraging people to connect with local charities help them. He and few more brothers legally working transparently on the ground are true examples and inspirations for us.
I remember sitting at the Mamzar beach in Dubai in November 2015, that beach being near my accommodation in Dubai was a peaceful spot to do my work and study. That night some amazing ideas came to my mind, a t-shirt business, a brand of my own, support refugees through my brand and lot of mixed ideas. I went back home as it was late, tried to sleep but couldn’t, opened by diary and wrote the whole plan. Definitely the plan has developed a lot and took many shapes now after proper research and advices. It’s definitely my dream come true, I was inspired by few brands but wanted to a different image and concept. We are working on the brand which will definitely be trendy, classic and quality fashion along with strong sense of social responsibility. As a social enterprise the brand aims to provide for the refugees and homeless in 4 different ways; food, clothing, shelter and education. The cause will be based on the need and emergency. We want to create products which gives the customers the reason to own, the quality, design and humanity are the reasons! A brand that incorporates the message of peace which is the most needed thing in the world now, lot of calamities take place due to the absence of peace. Solanki Peace, an apparels brand that will make me and everyone proud. The brand would never exist if Mission20 wouldn’t be there, so definitely all the social responsibility initiatives of Solanki Peace will be done in partnership with Mission20 being its charity arm.
Vision 2027 (my dream)
Without a guided vision nothing can be achieved. Projects, activities, initiatives will happen but won’t be attached to the bigger dream. It is now necessary we have a vision and a road map for achieving this vision. Definitely it is a lot of sacrifice in this current situation of ours when we are starting our professional career but I can’t wait till I am all settled. I take this as a part of my duty and day to day work to build Mission20 and work on its projects but that not enough, I definitely need paid employees and the right amount of investment or corporate support to run the day to day operations and bring out the best projects and life changing initiatives for beneficiaries on the ground and awareness for the masses. It’s not just helping poor, it’s about guiding those who materially rich but needs basic awareness like health, environmental and it’s about sustainable solutions. An entrepreneur I want to make sure all my ventures support Mission20 in some or other way, but that is not enough, we need support from other companies, corporates SMEs to join hands with us as their own Corporate Social Responsibility commitments.