Saudi Arabia’s energy giant Aramco has released details about its various corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, including beekeeping and sewing projects, as companies across the world engaged in the International Day of Charity on Saturday.
The company described six of its dozens of charity projects in a statement released on Saturday.
“On this International Day of Charity, Aramco cherishes its long history of corporate citizenship efforts. Whether supporting social-economic development, providing assistance to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic or facilitating the needs of today’s emerging knowledge society, the value of our resources lies in our potential to advance human progress and development in the communities in which we operate,” a spokesperson for the company told Al Arabiya English.
Aramco has been working with the Al-Baha Beekeepers Cooperative Association since 2016 to plant flowering trees, improve honey yield and quality, and generate jobs. The project generates around 30 tons of honey annually and has employed 900 workers while also expanding the beekeeping and honey research and training. Aramco says over 1,500 beekeepers have benefited from the project in Al Baha, Taif and Aseer in Saudi Arabia.
Aramco has partnered with several local charities and businesses with the aim of empowering women and training them with sewing skills to enable them to generate their own independent income. The project has enabled women to manufacture garments and work in sewing centers in Dammam, Jubail, Jazan and Hail in the Kingdom, the statement read.
Although best known for its oil and gas role, Aramco also runs coffee plantation programs that have led to farmers being supported with training, farm preparation and water network system installations, the firm said in its statement. Over 20,000 seedlings were planted in 2016-2017 in Al Dayer, with a plan in place to plant over 100,000 seedlings by the end of 2020.
Aramco’s infrastructure has also helped farmers irrigate their crops, with the firm claiming an 80 percent saving in water use due to the implementation of special irrigation systems.
In partnership with the Saudi Border Guard, Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, and Nesma Holding Company, Aramco has worked to strengthen the Kingdom’s fishing industry, it said.
“We are helping to boost the ability of the fishermen to support their families by enriching their knowledge, improving standards and providing them with new fishing boats and related equipment,” the statement read.
The company purchased 50 new fishing boats for fishermen in Yanbu, and 80 new boats for fishermen in Baish.
Shamah Autism Center
Aramco has been supporting the Shamah Autism Center in Dammam, an autism center for Saudi Arabian children focused on the Eastern Province of the Kingdom.
The company has primarily provided financial and technical support to build the facility, while also making a commitment to help operate the center for its first five years. The center has a capacity for 100 students with autism and will also aim to educate the public and autism and raise awareness about autistic patients’ rights.
The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture
Saudi Aramco refers its work with the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) as “the cornerstone of our citizenship endeavors to enable the growth and talent of the Kingdom’s creative sector, provide new global cultural experiences to Saudi audiences, and to develop and showcase Saudi potential across innovation, culture and the arts.”
The largest corporate citizenship project undertaken by Aramco, Ithra focuses on empowering the Kingdom’s knowledge-based economy as a driving force among Saudi Arabia’s cultural resurgence, the statement explained.
“Ithra acts as a destination for the development of creative and innovative skills of the next generation of Saudis, inspiring a passion for arts and culture, and sparking creativity. Ithra provides the world with a unique window to the Kingdom’s creativity, culture and capability and is an investment in the people of Saudi Arabia as they shape the world of tomorrow,” it said.