Essam Noor Fadel Al-Shanqiti, manager of Special Assistance Department at IDB, spoke at the opening session and said the workshop would help NGOs exchange ideas and experiences and share knowledge. “Muslim communities around the world have been benefiting from the bank’s special assistance program that enables them to carry out educational, social and health projects,” he said.
Malik Shah bin Mohd Yusoff, head of the scholarship program, highlighted his department’s achievements, saying the scholarship program was instrumental in producing a large number of qualified professionals. He urged IDB scholars to play an important role in the development of their communities.
Yusoff said: “IDB signed agreements with reputable international universities like Cambridge to help its scholarship students receive the best education in the world.” IDB has spent more than $ 95 million on its scholarship program, he added.
The IDB-Cambridge International Scholarship Program was launched within the scope of the IDB Merit Scholarship Program for Science and Technology to place students from member countries and Muslim communities in nonmember countries, in a three-year doctoral study at the university.
Mamoon Al-Azami, community development specialist and organizer of the event, said the workshop has three main goals: to create a global community development network, improve the performance of Muslim NGOs and achieve community and leadership development.
“We have been holding this workshop for the last 13 years,” he told Arab News, adding that 600 community leaders from 40 countries have benefited from the program.
The Muslim women’s NGO from Nigeria highlighted their innovative program to empower women by providing them education, training and employment. Rahma Moosa Sani of “Women in Dawa” said her organization has conducted a variety of programs to meet the needs of communities around her country. “We have trained 5,000 women this year alone,” she said, adding her organization is also instrumental in strengthening Muslim unity.
Ramla, a conference participant from the Philippines, raised the issue of unemployment among graduates of Qur’anic schools. The participants, including education specialists, emphasized the need to provide generation education to Qur’an memorization school students to enable them to find jobs.
Kassim Haji Hussein from Somalia told Arab News he was an IDB scholarship student and he established a private university “Jazeerah” in Mogadishu with the support of investors. “We would like to apply for IDB financial support to construct a new campus and a hospital,” he said.
Since its establishment in 1980, IDB’s special assistance division spent $ 723.8 million on 1,437 operations. They include 512 relief operations worth $ 441.9 million in member countries and 925 projects worth $ 281.9 million in nonmember countries.