The winners have been announced in a first-of-its-kind volunteering initiative run by the King Salman Youth Center (KSYC).
Saudi students around the world participated in 22 one-day volunteering tasks on four continents. The five winning teams were in Asia (China and Jordan); the US (Ohio and New York); and Europe (Scotland).
The “#Saudi Passed Here” contest was run under the “We Give” initiative, which aims to support Saudi students studying abroad. It was conducted by the KSYC in partnership with the scholarship agency of the Ministry of Education.
The initiative, the first of its kind in the Kingdom, aimed to enhance the positive image of the Kingdom and students studying abroad; to activate their energies in different countries; to motivate them to continue to give; and to disseminate their experiences and expand their impact.
This was done by monitoring their volunteer experiences and providing a field volunteer platform for all initiators interested in volunteering. The competition paved the way to participation in International Volunteer Day on Dec. 5, 2017.
Teams of students had to follow the criteria and conditions applied by the center. The rules included launching their initiatives in their country of scholarship and the costs should not exceed a sum of SR3,000 ($800).
The launch of the projects was documented and rotated between the 22 competing teams participating around the world on the popular social network application Snapchat. Each team was given time to speak about their initiative, conduct their projects appropriately and implement them according to the interpretation of their vision.
After completing the five different phases, the sixth phase was the jury’s turn to assess and choose the top five projects with the highest assessment.
The announcement came on Dec. 31 in Riyadh after members of the jury were able to assess the winning teams but go through a seven-hour debate on the most effective initiatives. The winning teams are: “Not alone initiative” from China; “Save a life initiative” from Jordan; “Hand by Hand initiative” in New York, US; “Us to Cleveland Initiative” in Cleveland, Ohio, US; and “Edinburgh Volunteering Team” in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The teams’ initiatives varied from raising society’s awareness on the importance of learning how to perform CPR; providing for the needs of a children’s orphanage; providing maintenance to a special needs shelter, renovating it and ensuring proper quality housing; visiting a center that caters to low-income families; and introducing children to the importance of science by assembling corners and working on various projects in the field of physics, mechanical engineering and simple chemistry.
“We are proud of the variety of initiatives presented by the participating teams. The jury gathered not to assess their success but to honor them. We seek to sustain the culture and spirit of volunteerism in line with the Kingdom’s vision for Saudi Arabia in 2030,” said Mohammed Asiri, general manager of the KSYC.