University Inaugurates Virtual Volunteer Forum
His Royal Highness Prince Turki bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Governor of Asir, inaugurated the Ataa Volunteer Virtual Initiative at a forum held at the Asir Emirate on the 6th of February. The forum was organized by the Deanship of Student Affairs. King Khalid University Rector, His Excellency Prof. Falleh R. M. Al-Solamy, was the guest of honor. The purpose of the forum was to discuss volunteering and volunteer projects in Asir.
At the commencement of the program, His Royal Highness expressed his gratitude to King Khalid University, the organizers and all of the program participants. He further recognized and thanked the university for its many community service and public outreach programs that run concurrently with university educational and academic functions. His Royal Highness stated that the university's public interest efforts help promote growth and development in the region.
His Excellency thanked His Royal Highness for hosting the forum, as well as his participation in and support for the university's mission and its various programs. His Excellency affirmed that King Khalid University's civic and public interest missions encompass not only the region, but the entire Kingdom. He also stated that the university is committed to do its part in achieving the national goal of increasing the number of civic volunteers to one million individuals as set forth in Vision 2030.
Rector Al-Solamy explained that the Ataa Initiative is part of the university's strategy to support community service efforts. These outreach initiatives raise public awareness of the importance of entrepreneurship, small business, and non-profit organization development. These three types of entities are engines of innovation and creative problem-solving. The Rector also noted that virtual symposiums, presentations, and workshops help expand the platform and opportunities to participate in volunteer projects.
Director of Cultural and Social activities at King Khalid University, Raed Ayedh Al-Qahtani, made a brief presentation specifying the specific goals and structure of the forum. The purpose of the event was to explore different strategies of increasing awareness of important volunteer work, and securing more volunteers to work on current and future projects in accordance with the doctrine set forth in Vision 2030. In essence, the forum was dedicated to helping the region develop a culture of volunteerism. Al-Qahtani stated that, to date, the virtual forum attracted approximately 2,500 participants.
Rector Al-Solamy: 'The University gives great attention to all community and volunteer work as part of its attempt to achieve the 2030 Saudi Vision'.
Later in the program, His Royal Highness inaugurated the forum by way of the university's Twitter account. He announced the commencement of the forum activities with a virtual session titled 'Volunteer Teams, Their Aspirations, and Reasonable Expectations'. His Royal Highness hosted the event which highlighted the 'Sandkum' initiative in the Asir region. He noted that King Khalid University was instrumental in developing 'Sandkum', and that he aspires to see the program accredited at the institutional level. His Royal Highness further stated that the Asir region is fully engaged in reaching the objectives set forth in Vision 2030.
The first session of the event concluded with a presentation on regulatory issues. The current Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Development, Dr. Nasser bin Mohammed Al-Qamishan, and the former Minister of Labor and Social Development, Dr. Ali bin Ibrahim Al Namla, conducted a session on the regulatory environment and its relationship with volunteer projects and volunteer teams.
The second session of the program commenced with a presentation on non-profit projects and volunteerism. The Director of the Center for Excellence for the Development of Non-Profit Organizations at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dr. Hattan Zain Al-Abedeen Tawfiq, led a program titled 'Sustainability Criteria for the Involvement of Volunteers'. In his speech, he explored issues regarding the sustainability of projects and volunteer teams, and the importance of continuity for long-term or permanent projects.
Next, a variety of learned and experienced speakers made presentations as to volunteerism and non-profit projects. The organizers and the participants are deeply grateful to the following presenters for their efforts:
- General Director of the Ministry of Labor & Development Volunteer Work, Mrs. Masheel Al-Mubarak;
- Ambassador of Volunteer Work, Nawaf bin Ali Al Zayad;
- General Director of the Al-Subaie Charity Foundation, Dr. Hassan bin Mohammad Al-Shraim.
At the forum, Dean of Student Affairs, Dr. Abdullah Al-Atheed, announced the publication and release of the '100 Initiatives Book'. This manual was written by the faculty of the Deanship of Student Affairs and details initiatives on a variety of subjects including:
- Community Affairs;
- Health & Wellness
Dr. Al-Atheed explained that this book is a compendium of the most highly regarded initiatives as selected by a competitive process. He noted that the book serves as a blueprint for those individuals and organizations interested in developing volunteer projects.