Doha, QATAR – 15 April 2018 – In the presence and patronage of Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Qatar Museums, Best Buddies Global Ambassador and five-time American Football Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady joined the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), Qatar Museums (QM) and Best Buddies Qatar participants at an event in Doha’s Khalifa International Stadium today to officially launch partnerships between Best Buddies Qatar and the two organizations. The partnerships aim to incorporate individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in the organization of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™ and the development of Qatar’s museums and cultural heritage sector.
The event, which included sports-based activities for members from Best Buddies Qatar and the local community, celebrated diversity and inclusion.
As part of the new partnership, the SC has committed to integrating 20 Best Buddies Qatar members with IDD in Qatar into the organization and hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™, to encourage their leadership and professional skills. This will be done through the SC’s Tamkeen inclusivity initiative. Similarly, the partnership with QM included the commitment of integrating 20 individuals into QM’s operations and programs.
“Tom Brady has served as an exemplary Global Ambassador for Best Buddies since 2003, and has helped bring an even greater awareness to the infinite abilities people with intellectual and developmental disabilities possess,” said Anthony K. Shriver, Founder, Chairman & CEO of Best Buddies International. “Tom has proven himself to be a committed advocate for individuals with disabilities, always going above and beyond the call of duty to help promote a world of inclusion and opportunity for this population. Tom’s work in Qatar on behalf of Best Buddies will change lives for the better.”
Nasser Al Khater, SC Assistant Secretary General for Tournament Affairs said: “We are delighted to welcome Tom Brady to Qatar and Khalifa International Stadium for the signing of this important partnership agreement between the SC and Best Buddies. We have always said we would use the 2022 FIFA World Cup to promote diversity and inclusion in society, a vision similar to that of Best Buddies, and this agreement further demonstrates that vision. Our commitment with Best Buddies to integrate individuals with intellectual and development disabilities into the hosting of the 2022 World Cup will help the program participants further integrate with Qatar’s diverse communities and make new friends, meet the travelling fans we expect in 2022, helping build their confidence, and most importantly give them a sense of independence.”
Al Khater added: “This initiative is just one of a number of programs we have launched that we’re using to ensure the World Cup in Qatar is the most inclusive edition of the tournament, and that it leaves a social legacy and impact in Qatar and the region long after the last ball has been kicked in 2022.”
HE Amal Bint Abdullatif Al-Mannai, CEO of Qatar Foundation for Social Work, expressed her gratitude and appreciation to Best Buddies Global Ambassador and American football player, Tom Brady, for his visit to Qatar and participation in this important event in the domain of intellectual and developmental disabilities.
HE Amal Bint Abdullatif Al-Mannai said: “We are glad to launch this partnerships of Best Buddies Qatar with Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy; and Best Buddies Qatar with Qatar Museums which will involve 20 persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities in preparation and hosting 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Qatar Foundation for Social Work seeks to establish such cooperation with leading sports and cultural institutions to support the achievement of the goals of the social development pillar of Qatar National Vision 2030. The aim of these partnerships will encourage and facilitate the activities and programs of the social centers, affiliated with the Foundation as the initiative of Best Buddies Qatar.
There is no doubt that today’s event underlines the collaboration of global efforts to socially integrate people with disabilities. It affirms the focus on the matters of persons with disabilities from different parts of the world.
I would like to pay tribute to Best Buddies International and the Best Buddies Qatar for their outstanding efforts in supporting people with disabilities through Best Buddies Global Ambassadors who promote the concepts of empowerment, rehabilitation and integration for people with disabilities that enable them to be assets in their communities through programs and activities.
We, at the Qatar Foundation for Social Work, pay efforts to take the lead in initiatives and partnerships that will achieve the goals of social inclusion and empowerment of people with disabilities in the country.”
Mrs. Laalei Abu Alfain, Executive Director of Best Buddies Qatar, said: “Today’s event was a great opportunity to increase awareness of the capacities of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and the necessity for them to be essential members of any community.”
“The significant cooperation between Best Buddies Qatar, the SC and QM at the event organized by the SC’s Corporate Social Responsibility program “Generation Amazing”, reassures and further our efforts, along with domestic and international institutions.”
“Our ultimate aim is the social integration and empowerment of people with disabilities, and we are grateful for this initiative and Tom Brady’s visit, which have helped shed light on the programs and objectives of Best Buddies Qatar programs and objectives.”
“I would like to express my highest gratitude to Her Excellency Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums Board of Trustees, to the officials at the SC, to Mr. Anthony Kennedy Shriver, the Founder and the CEO of Best Buddies International, and to Mr. Tom Brady, Best Buddies Global Ambassador, for their invaluable support in making this event happen and initiating essential positive influence on people with disabilities in Qatar. And we are proud to be a part of 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™.”
Best Buddies International is the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with IDD. The organization’s programs help people with disabilities form meaningful friendships, secure successful jobs, and develop indispensable leadership skills to advocate for themselves and their peers. Best Buddies International currently operates in 50 countries and impacts the lives of more than 1.2 million individuals globally.
Established in 2008, as a special project of Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasir, under umbrella of Shafallah Center for Persons with Disabilities, Best Buddies Qatar is a governmental non-profitable organization that aims to enhance life of people with and without intellectual disabilities through social integration and one-to-one long lasting meaningful friendships across the State of Qatar.
Among its programs there are: Pen Pal, Primary Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Citizens, e-Buddies and Ambassadors, where persons without disabilities commit to peer-friendships with persons with disabilities accordingly to their age, gender, interests and language. Besides, Best Buddies Qatar holds Vocational and Rehabilitation program to provide classes and trainings to its members with disabilities for future professional development.
Best Buddies Qatar’s mission is to spread volunteer movement and engage governmental, non-governmental institutions and individuals to support opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development of people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities.
ABOUT BEST BUDDIES INTERNATIONAL:
Best Buddies® is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver, Best Buddies is a vibrant organization that has grown from one original chapter to nearly 2,500 middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide. Today, Best Buddies’ eight formal programs — Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Citizens, e-Buddies® , Jobs, Ambassadors, and Promoters — engage participants in each of the 50 states and in 50 countries, positively impacting the lives of more than 1.2 million people with and without disabilities around the world. In many cases, as a result of their involvement with Best Buddies, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities secure rewarding jobs, live on their own, become inspirational leaders, and make lifelong friendships. For more information, please visit www.bestbuddies.org, facebook.com/bestbuddies or twitter.com/bestbuddies.