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Empowering Women

Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd Program for Youth Development

Youth in Saudi Arabia have attracted the attention of governmental and nongovernmental institutions as an eminent category of the society constituting close to sixty percent of the Saudi population. If not well educated and surrounded, youth is at high risk of delinquency and unemployment thus drawing the Saudi society to dangerous social and economical threats. Since a good percentage of youth do not chose the path of higher education, it is crucial to develop technical and vocational paths for them and to develop strategies for these youngsters’ possible careers. Qualifying and employing this category of youth posed a great challenge to the Saudi community. The Ministry of Labor has undertaken a number of projects that aim ultimately at saudization of a variety of professions to decrease unemployment and fight poverty. However, unqualified and inexperienced individuals were not able to assume job responsibilities and thus job retention emerged again as a serious threat to the viability of the measures taken by the public and private sectors to solve this problem.
In 1998, HRH Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd established an office for youth employment that was housed within the College of Technology in Dammam. In the year 2000, the increasing activities of the office added new aspects to its responsibilities and the Prince incorporated the stage of training before employment to ensure job retention. He therefore envisioned a broader role in that area and initiated Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd Program for Qualifying and Employing Youth. The Program operated in the facility of the College Of Technology until a dedicated modern facility equipped with the latest technologies was donated by the Prince and inaugurated in Dammam in 2005. In 2007, the name of the Program changed to Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd Program for Youth Development which reflected the new vision of HRH of programs and activities that emerge from the need of the youth as seen by themselves . The new approach attracted a bigger number of youngsters thus increasing the efficiency of its achievements. The Program succeeded in employing close to 43, 000 young men and women, training over 35, 000 others during summer programs, and hundreds of targeted workshops and lectures, clubs and a projects incubator. 

The Program has currently branches in Dammam, Hassa, Jubail, Hafr al Baten and Qarea. the late Minister of Interior, HRH Prince Nayef Bin Abdul Aziz gave directives to establish similar programs in all provinces in the Kingdom. The Program won The Dubai International Award for Best Practices to Improve the Living Environment in 2002, and the Sharjah Award for Volunteer Work in 2007.

Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Fund for the Support of Women's Projects

The number of educated women has grown rapidly in the Saudi community. Females graduating from high school and universities increased but at the same time employment opportunities remained scarce. As a result unemployment became a chronic problem among the female population.

A large number of women stay at home and become permanent job seekers. On the other hand some ladies seek self employment through establishing their own small businesses. However, these female entrepreneurs face the problem of finding the fund, they need to launch their small businesses. No funding sources are readily available to give them help and support.

HRH Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd Bin Abdulaziz has always given high support to women causes considering women as an important constituent of the community which success will prominently support the development of the society as a whole. To provide the necessary support, HRH launched his initiative under the name Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Fund for the support of Women’s Projects. It is an independent structure for financial support for small, new or on-going projects initiated by Saudi Women.

Since it was launched the Fund supported 46 small businesses owned by women and these businesses are currently operating successfully.

A number of new businesses for women are continuously being evaluated for funding. 

Princess Jawaher’s Mashael Al Khair Center

Women population constitutes half the Saudi community and their contribution to development and raising the standards of living of their own families and the community at large is of paramount and strategic importance. To play their role efficiently and effectively to women and young women in particular, need to be empowered. This empowerment may not be achieved in schools only. There is a lack of volunteer organizations that take empowerment of women as a main goal and establish projects for its realization. Therefore a large number of women are unable to achieve their ambitions because they lack the support and the skills required.

HRH Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz addressed this need to empower women by launching his initiative under the name of Princess Jawaher’s Mashael Al-Khair Center. The Center provides a number of services to women in particular and the community at large. Training for employment is an example of the services it provides. The Center also assists women in developing their small businesses and helps them in promoting and marketing their products. 

The main objective of the funds of the Center is to contribute efficiently to reducing women’s unemployment and improving their living conditions. It also endeavors to promote entrepreneurship and the culture of self reliance and assist female investors in starting feasible projects based on sound scientific foundations. The establishment of small industrial enterprises providing craftsmanship and services as a support for existing large-scale industries is encouraged.

The Center implemented a large number of training courses to help young women acquire leadership skills, and a training program under the title “My Skills, My Future” for training young women on basic life skills. A number of young women were supported until their small business succeeded and produced products that were successfully promoted and marketed.

Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz College for the Visually Impaired

According to WHO statistics in 2011, 285 million people are affected with visual impairment around the world. The visual disabilities range from total blindness to other different levels of visual impairment. According to the same source, blindness threats most visually impaired and the number of blind will increase exponentially in 2020. These indicators prove that visual impairment is an important disability that will affect a larger number of individuals across the globe. Medical research and medical intervention as well as preventive measures are all encouraged by world health organizations, governmental and nongovernmental organizations around the world. However, studies and statistics show that the affected individuals do not always get the right life opportunities. Efforts to provide the visually impaired with their basic rights remain insufficient, especially in terms of education and employment. All institutions and associations around the world, specialized in care for visually impaired individuals only provide training for life skills and social integration, as well as training for basic vocational professions.

In his endeavor to support disabled individuals, HRH Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd noted the disadvantaged conditions of the visually impaired despite their remarkable potential and in many cases their high mental abilities. He therefore launched his initiative to start a higher education, degree awarding institution that fosters learning opportunities to this category of the disabled. The idea was very well received, and during the visit of the Late Crown Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz to the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, the idea of the College was discussed and the late Prince donated 60 million SAR in support of this initiative that carries his name since then.

The college aims at providing an ideal environment to help people with visual disabilities overcome their difficulties and integrate in the society. It seeks to rehabilitate students and to prepare them to be self-reliant in order to integrate in the society and achieve their potential and ambitions in life. The facility, technologies, curricula and services provided provide ideal life, learning and working conditions for the visually impaired.

Princess Nouf Bint Mohammad Fund for the Support of Working Women

The role of women is always crucial in the development and advancement of the community. HRH Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz realized that in many communities, the role of women needed substantial support in order to achieve efficiency. He launched therefore a number of initiatives to empower women and facilitate her role in the targeted communities. PMFHD encompassed many projects and achievements that served women empowerment. These include Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Fund for Women Development that supported and funded a number of small businesses for women entrepreneurs, in addition to a number of prizes and programs in women development as well as the Women Branch of Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd Program for Youth Development PMPYD. PMPYD has succeeded in finding employment for thousands of young women, as well as designing and implementing women training and developmental programs. Princess Jawaher Bent Nayef Center- Mashael Al Khair was also established to serve women issues and solve problems related to self employment. The center trains young women to artisanal jobs and traditional craftwork. 

Princess Nouf Bint Mohammad Fund for the Support of Working Women comes as a valuable addition to these initiatives. It aims at providing psychological and moral support to working women, training them for job requirements and expectations, and helping them in overcoming the social and professional challenges. 

The Fund operates under Mashael Al Khair Center. It also works hand in hand with the private sector that funds many of its endeavors and brings valuable feedback regarding needs and challenges that are further developed into programs and activities.

This Fund seeks to create job opportunities for girls in general and needy families in particular. The Fund also works on ensuring the girls training courses that lead to employment in cooperation with the private sector in the region. The Fund has managed to employ (100) girls in food factory, (30) girl Zamil Industrial Company and (30) others in the company (Bedoon Essem).

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