The Women’s Society and Development Club (WSDC) at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar (GU-Q) broke their record when they made over 172,000 QAR at their Fourth Annual Breast Cancer Awareness event to raise money and awareness about breast cancer in the Qatari community, nearly doubling last year’s 90,000 QAR. Around 200 students, faculty, staff, and members of the Doha community attended the event, which was held in the GU-Q atrium.
Over 30 vendors, ranging from popular Doha hotspots Sugar & Spice, Fogue Cafe and Magnolia Bakery, to women’s fashion designers and retailers, donated goods for auction at the event. A full 100 percent of proceeds will benefit the Qatar Cancer Society to support awareness campaigns and pay for the treatment costs of patients in Doha. New this year at the fundraiser was a raffle, which consisted of prizes from Blue Brush Salon. This year also saw a sharp increase in participating vendors and a large social media presence, which all contributed to the dramatic success.
The dean of GU-Q, Dr. Gerd Nonneman, said: “The commitment of the organizers, students, faculty and staff to making the world a better place is an inspiration, and I am proud of the record breaking amount they managed to raise. But the phenomenal success of this fundraiser could not have been achieved without the generous support of donors and attendees, and we are reminded of how much can be achieved when we come together as a community for a good cause.”
“It is very important for educational institution such as Georgetown University to encourage Qatari women, and all students, to stand for causes such as Breast Cancer Awareness, because it is something that can affect us all,” said Qatari GU-Q senior Khawla Al-Derbasti, one of the event organizers. “I believe that it is the responsibility of any individual who has the means to make a difference to dedicate their time in doing so. This is why I am so proud to be part of the Women’s Society & Development club and all our accomplishments.” She is also the Vice-President of WSDC, and will serve as president starting next semester.
Working alongside Khawla Al-Derbasti were WSDC co-presidents, Mashail Al-Malki and Almaha Al-Hammadi, both Qatari GU-Q seniors. Almaha stresses the importance of education, as well as raising funds, saying: “The event was open to both men and women because breast cancer is also common in men. One of our goals in organizing this event is to clear up misconceptions, and to raise more overall awareness within Qatari society about breast cancer.”
Mashail Al-Malki adds “It is exciting to see how this event keeps getting bigger and better every year. Raising awareness about breast cancer is important, however, this event entailed more than just that. Our aim was also to bring the community together, encourage local businesses, and develop our skills as students at Georgetown University.”
Addressing the many people and businesses who donated their time, goods, or services, the WSDChave a message: “We want to thank all of you for making the 4th Annual Breast Cancer Awareness event a success. You have touched the lives of so many and you will positively affect the lives of people dealing with breast cancer.”
In 2010, WSDC was created as a platform for students to discuss the roles and challenges of being a woman. Today the club’s aims include the empowerment and education of women on various contemporary and traditional issues. WSDC is a student-run organization from Georgetown University-Qatar