A mother and son from Zimbabwe are part of the 20,000-strong volunteer team at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.
Rufaro Makambira-Chindalo is supporting operations at the Main Media Centre, while her son Kundai is a spectator services volunteer at Khalifa International Stadium, one of eight state-of-the-art venues hosting Qatar 2022 matches.
Rufaro has become a seasoned volunteer since moving to Doha in 2019 to work as a support teacher for disabled children at Cardiff International School. She previously volunteered at numerous football tournaments in Qatar, including the CAF Super Cup, AFC Champions League, Amir Cup and FIFA Arab Cup™.
“Volunteering has increased my confidence and helped me become comfortable approaching people and striking up conversations. Immersing myself in volunteering also helped me to understand and appreciate the local culture here in Qatar. I was struck by how lovely and welcoming everyone is,” said Rufaro, whose role is based at the Qatar National Convention Centre.
Rufaro’s experiences encouraged Kundai, an undergraduate who lives in Harare, Zimbabwe, to volunteer at last year’s FIFA Arab Cup, with an eye on being a part of the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East and Arab world.
Rufaro added: “The skills, experience and social interactions are priceless. I wanted Kundai to have all these experiences. I knew volunteering would help him grow and develop, and feel a sense of pride and fulfilment.”
Kundai is enjoying his stint at Khalifa, which will host the third-place play-off on 17 December, after staging seven matches up to the round of 16 stage.
“I love helping people and my role at Khalifa is all about assisting fans in the stadium. Volunteering has helped improve my communication and networking skills, and given me so much confidence – I am really enjoying meeting people from all over the world,” said Kundai, a student at Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University.
“I want fans to have a great experience and for my interactions to have a positive impact on them. I am also a big football fan so to be part of this tournament is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Kundai went on to say volunteering will support his education and career prospects. “I am a sports coordinator at my university in Zimbabwe and when I go back I intend to share the knowledge I have gained in Qatar – skills like teamwork, organising and strategies,” said Kundai, who is studying to obtain a humanity and social sciences degree. “My goal is to become a social entrepreneur – someone who positively impacts society – and all these skills will be priceless.”
Speaking about the opportunity to be part of a global mega-event alongside her son, Rufaro said: “It is amazing – so very special. The World Cup will not just leave a lasting legacy for Qatar and the Arab region, it will also leave a lasting legacy for our family.”