In the year 2008, Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser established the Best Buddies Qatar to contribute to the integration of people with moderate or mild intellectual and developmental disabilities in education, workforce and the community in the State of Qatar in order to provide an appropriate educational and environment for their integration into community, the best job opportunities reflecting their abilities and potential, and to enhance the opportunities for developing their social, cultural and professional skills. The organization operates under the Shafallah Center for Persons with Disabilities.
The programs of the Best Buddies Qatar vary from social programs to programs for schools and universities and social services:
First: Social Programs:
These are a row of social programs and activities which raise awareness about the overall matters of persons with disabilities, their families, and employment, as well as, training courses, workshops, meetings and celebrations of national and international events related disabilities.
Second: Schools, Universities, and Social Services Programs:
These programs are dedicated to schools and universities and include the following:
1. Best Buddies Qatar Primary School Program:
The program aims to integrate persons with intellectual disabilities of the age 12-14 years old with the student without disabilities of the same age group in primary high schools during one academic year.
2. Best Buddies Qatar Secondary School:
The program aims to integrate persons with intellectual disabilities of the age 15-17 years old with the student without disabilities of the same age group in primary high schools during one academic year.
3. Best Buddies Qatar College Program:
The program aims to integrate persons with intellectual disabilities of the age 18-21 years old with the student without disabilities of the same age group in colleges and universities during one academic year.
4. Best Buddies Qatar Citizen Program:
The program integrates persons with intellectual disabilities above 22 years old into the community through social activities with persons without disabilities of the same age group.
5. Best Buddies Qatar Jobs Program:
This program aims to integrate people with intellectual disabilities into the community through employment support, the opportunity of income and working alongside people without disabilities in different parts of the country. The program helps them maintain their jobs through trainings and ongoing qualification support.
6. Best Baddies Qatar (E-buddies):
It aims to provide the opportunity for friendships through modern electronic means of communication between people with and without moderate and mild intellectual. The participants of this program talk via e-mail and social network sites, like Facebook and Twitter, YouTube.
7. Pen Pal Program:
This program includes children of the age 7-12 years old and provides social integration through correspondence friendships 3-4 letters per academic year between primary schools’ student with and without moderate and mild intellectual disabilities with.
8. Best Buddies Qatar Ambassadors Program:
Best Buddies Qatar aims at training and rehabilitation of a number of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to be ambassadors in domestic and international community through an annual program which includes training and qualification on being distinguished speakers to raise awareness on the matters of disability, its challenges, and difficulties, representing their own experience of social integration.
9. Best Buddies Qatar Promoters Program:
The program aims at empowering young people to defend persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities and to help to establish new clubs and programs by organizing special events on raising awareness of the rights of persons with disabilities.
10. Social Sports Integration Program:
The program includes persons of the age 8-21 years old. It improves the quality of life of people with intellectual disabilities in Qatar through social and sports integration and it works to develop social aspects to enhance their interaction using various sports and games activities which develop basic sports skills of people with intellectual developmental disability.