KAUST Social Responsibility  

Billboards Highlight the Work of KAUST Social Responsibility

Anyone travelling along King Abdullah Boulevard recently will have noticed the striking images adorning the temporary construction walls.  If you are not familiar with the social responsibility work that KAUST does, then these photographs along the highway are a really good place to start.  Each picture captures an achievement – the result of hard work and dedication of KAUST staff and community members that volunteer with projects created by Strategic National Advancement’s Social Responsibility, in collaboration with other departments, to share their unique range of skills, talents and knowledge with our neighboring communities in our host town of Thuwal and beyond.

Opening the doors and hearts of KAUST, connecting our communities, broadens the minds of all involved.   The aim of all the social responsibility projects and initiatives is to inspire lifelong learning for all, improve learning environments and educational outcomes for the next generation, encourage positive life choices, empower people to reach their full potential so that they can shape their own future.  By igniting the awareness of possibilities, we can spark the drive and determination to keep up with and be part of the country’s energizing transformation and national development.

Engaging in social responsibility is our chance to give back to the community and country in which we live and these images represent work that has been going on in and around KAUST since 2012.  The social responsibility department channels the efforts of the volunteers into four areas – Education, Community, Prosperity and Environment and these photographs illustrate the breadth of people involved.

Many of our volunteers come away inspired themselves.  Ghaida Hadaidi, a Bioscience PhD student and part of the team delivering Marine Ecology workshops to YLDP students, said “The effort by Strategic National Advancement is amazing.  There is a lot of hidden talent in Saudi Arabia.  It is spectacular that these students are picked for English classes, science classes, exposed to a different kind of science that they have never encountered in schools.  By bringing them to this culture and letting them see a different type of scientist, they can mingle with all the scientists, discuss their ideas, share their knowledge, and develop critical thinking. Thank you so much.”

The school pupils are shown participating in the Young Learners Development Program – they are taking part in fascinating science workshops devised and delivered by student and faculty scientists from KAUST; they are joining in the inspiring events at WEP, chaperoned by TKS students; they are discovering the biodiversity of KAUST and the Red Sea;  they are learning about recycling and protecting their environment; they are developing English skills by chatting in English Conversation Clubs at the fire station; they are challenging TKS students on the football pitch, building international bridges with the global language of sport.  The YLDP is targeted at school-identified and selected high achievers – these students represent the next generation of Saudi talent and identifying and supporting them at an early age ensures they maximize their chance of achieving their potential.

As part of our Prosperity program, the women pictured are expanding their employability by attending vocational training and self-improvement courses.  Some of these women have since set up their own businesses, empowered by the access to inspiring courses.  The Environmental projects show KAUST and Thuwal people united in celebrating the beauty of our coastline by doing a beach clean and corniche refurbishment.

While a picture may speak 1000 words, to demonstrate the impact that KAUST volunteers have had on the local community, numbers are far more direct.

  • 11,600 local community residents engaged
  • 6,500 young learners inspired
  • 100 life enhancing initiatives delivered
  • All by 1,900 volunteers that have given time, inspiration and energy

These photographs are just a taster of the social responsibility work undertaken by KAUST.  If you are inspired to be part of it all, click Get Involved.

UN Sustainable Development Goal #3 UN Sustainable Development Goal #4 UN Sustainable Development Goal #5  UN Sustainable Development Goal #11 UN Sustainable Development Goal #09 E-WEB-Goal-11 UN Sustainable Development Goal #12 E-WEB-Goal-14 UN Sustainable Development Goal #15 UN Sustainable Development Goal #17

June 07, 2018

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