Students at Qatar Academy Doha (QAD), a school under Qatar Foundation’s (QF) Pre-University Education have been recognised for their work in leading an anti-bullying campaign that has run for over six months.
The students were awarded certificates of recognition at a special event, and their parents invited to witness the final outcome of a journey of advocacy and learning.
Empowered by a sense of agency and the desire to voice their ideas from an early age, students at QAD chose bullying as the topic they wanted to shine a spotlight on through an integrated media campaign called Bullying Hurts Everyone.
Led by students, designed for students, and supported by PUE, QF’s Communications Directorate and QF alumni, the students harnessed their range of communication skills to address various types of bullying and emphasise its short and long-term impact on its victims through different types of media.
“Primary and senior school students met at a brainstorming session and, after discussions, we agreed that bullying is a major topic we need to address and to try to find a way to help stop this behaviour,” said, Alia Ahmed al-Maadeed, a Grade 4 student at QAD.
The campaign focused on how bullying affects everyone, including those who are bullied, those who bully, and those who witness it, and how it reflects negatively on their mental health and wellness, leading to depression and anxiety as well as skipping school.
Having a passion for video creation and multimedia, Hissa al-Hitmi, a Grade 9 student at QAD, was very enthusiastic about the anti-bullying project. “It all started back in March 2020 when Activists in Action, a QAD student-led group which aims to ban plastic bags in Qatar, received a letter from His Highness the Amir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, congratulating them on their efforts,” she said.
Alia also worked with a group of other students who have an interest in photography to develop photo stories that use the power of images to highlight how a student feels when they are targeted by bullying
As a QAD alumna, and a senior communication outreach specialist at QF’s Communications Directorate, Dana El Ghazal co-designed and organised child-centric media masterclasses along with other colleagues of her department to support the students.
“I can’t help but think of the saying ‘When one teaches, two learn,” she said. “It’s been an invaluable journey with these students, witnessing youth ambassadors advocating for anti-bullying through their unique pieces of work.”