By Jou Pabalate
We’ve decided to turn an eye towards the local social responsibility projects of companies who are giving back to the Saudi community, one cool project at a time.
It’s a proven fact; a huge slice of the Saudi population isn’t very big on saving and financial planning at that. The result of an ‘earn and spend’ mentality is a generation that thrives on a short-term basis but fails to prepare for the bigger picture and future.
This is where SEDCO comes in with their Riyali program. This initiative caught our attention because they’ve decided to tackle something that has been overlooked – preparing the next generation of Saudi professionals and citizens to take a hard look at where they put their hard-earned money. The premise is quite simple; give students the right tools and information to manage their finances so that they can achieve their desired goals.
Much more, do it in a way that engages them, through interactive workshops activated in different universities.
The Genuine Champs
As the first medical insurance in the market, Bupa Arabia looked into community segments that seldom have access to proper healthcare services. After careful study, they honed in on the needs of orphans and launched the first free insurance program. The initiative has already added thousands of orphans across Saudi and aiming this year to add more segments such as less fortunate families and adopted orphans.
On a side note, Bupa Arabia took their CSR a step further when they granted extra coverage to things that are not usually covered by insurance policies (Dental and some treatments that are considered cosmetics). Bupa’s doctors ran health awareness sessions to orphans depending on their needs and requirements. Bupa can also literally track orphans live in its system to ensure no delay in their received services.
As part of its 2015 plans Bupa will run 6 months training programs for orphans aged 21 and above at its premises to help them shape their skills and get ready to get into the world ahead of them.
Delta Marketing Company
The Lifestyle Champ
As the brand owner of Adidas in Saudi Arabia, Delta Marketing Company (DMC) deserves a two thumbs up for creating a CSR project that lives true to their goal of promoting a healthier lifestyle.
In cooperation with the Maharat Center, DMC frequently takes part in the physical education of kids with disabilities. They’ve also been keen to create public awareness through all-year round campaign activations in parks, malls and other commercial areas.
Abdul Latif Jameel
The Champ of all Champs
With a complete Community Initiatives arm dedicated solely to giving back and impacting society, Abdul Latif Jameel takes the pie when it comes to having the most comprehensive and wide breadth of CSR activities in our list.
Starting with Bab Rizq Jameel (BRJ), the job creation program of ALJ, the company has successfully helped 280,000 men and women to find work in Saudi Arabia alone. Now BRJ not only creates jobs and training in industries ranging from health care to car maintenance, but also helps close the gap between university education and private sector requirements, provides micro-finance, encourages young people to start their own small business and helps housewives to make the transition from aid recipients to producers.
ALJ also has an entire segment dedicated to arts and culture. They are the founding partners of Edge of Arabia and Arabian Wings. In addition, there’s also the Education Jameel that hosts a wide range of start-up programs and trainings that all aim to foster innovation, the pursuit of knowledge and creating a more equipped Saudi youth and professionals.
For their social initiatives, ALJ is the business giant behind King Salman Center for Disability, ALJ hospital, Al Nada Social Center for senior citizens and many more.
The Riyadh Champs
SABB has initiatives that go beyond the city bounds but of course we would give them an extra thumbs up for being an all-around nice guy in Riyadh.
In cooperation with The British Council, SABB sponsored the international program called Kids Read at a number of schools in Riyadh. SABB staff participated in this program by reading books to the children, taking part in their arts activities and performing administrative roles.
In collaboration with the Blind Association Charity (Kafeef), SABB established a fully equipped computer and Braille training center for men and women. Training courses have also been arranged to allow for skill development that will help the blind find suitable employment opportunities, enabling them to become productive and financially independent members of society.
Another activity SABB participate in and one which we hope other companies will get on board with as well, is the “Cleaning One Million Square Metres” project that was initiated by Riyadh Municipality. This environmental drive brings together employees to help the municipality in cleaning the desert and selected areas surrounding the city of Riyadh.
AlJomaih Automotive Group
Out of the Box Champ
This automotive giant has spearheaded some creative social projects since its inception. Most of which
One project is a first of its kind. Al Jomaih supported the first mass wedding ceremony in Riyadh in cooperation with the Project Bin Baz Charity. The initiative successfully gave young and less privileged couples a chance to tie the knot and was a precedent event to all the mass weddings we’ve seen companies spearhead these days. That’s pretty sweet.
Apart from their charity activities, Al Jomaih also launched the Project Wings of Home. It continues to thrive today in cooperation with the General Organization for Vocational Training.