VODAFONE QATAR WITHDRAWS SUPPORT FOR CHARITY TRIP
The Vodafone-sponsored 'My First Amazon Adventure' ended on a sour note after an outcry on social media and the company's termination of support for the trip.
Seven young Qataris were given the chance to experience the wild Amazonian jungles during a three-week adventure, culminating in building a school for one of the most remote communities living in the rainforest, as part of Vodafone's global "Firsts" initiative. During the course of the regular updates of the trip being made on social media sites, a deeply polarising debate on culture and traditions was sparked off, particularly after pictures and videos were posted of the girls not wearing their headscarves during their excursion. Despite overwhelming support among young Qataris for the trip and what it represents, the telecom operator released a statement saying it was “completely withdrawing from this project and ceasing all kinds of support to it, reflecting the Chairman's commitment to seeing Vodafone Qatar providing the best services and initiatives that are suitable to the norms and values of the Qatari culture”. This announcement further incensed supporters who blamed Vodafone Qatar for caving under pressure and “abandoning” the young men and women for whom it had assumed responsibility.