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Conference Highlights Role of Social Responsibility in Fulfilling Vision 2030 | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A Saudi man walks past the logo of Vision 2030 after a news conference in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia June 7, 2016. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

Riyadh- A new discussion session organized by King Salman Youth Center–Riyadh unveiled new opportunities to enhance the social responsibility of companies, empower non-profit organizations to have bigger impact, contribute in growing the non-profit sector, and motivate volunteer work.

It discussed many topics that contribute in fulfilling the “Saudi Vision 2030” concerning the strengthening of social responsibility by encouraging volunteering and motivating people on participating in volunteering activities, which will create more job opportunities.

The discussion session themed “enhancing social responsibility and its role in fulfilling Vision 2030” hosted leading figures specialized in social responsibility.

During the session, Dr. Salim Al-Dini, deputy minister of Saudi Labor and Social Development said his country has 912 non-profit organizations, and that 12 new organizations are being founded every month.

Dini pointed out that the regulations set by the ministry facilitated the foundation of those organizations, after it reduced the paper procedures and number of members required to establish those foundations, and encouraged different social segments on founding non-profit organizations.

He also highlighted the efforts made by the ministry to assimilate those foundations.

The minister said global studies showed that appointing an honorary chairmanship for the foundation from its onset secures a strong and motivating start. Therefore, the ministry adopted the “honorary chairmanship” concept.

He added: “The Ministry of Labor and Social Development will soon launch a map for associations and civil institutions to determine the needs of each region and provide a demographic survey, information, and indications including the number of associations in every region with their fields, founders, members, and work plan.”

He noted that this plan or e-gate do not exist in the Arab world yet.

Dini revealed that the ministry also plans to launch new workshops in cooperation with all sectors, mainly in health, to develop the work of associations, and founding medical and supportive associations.

He explained that the non-profit sector is considered the fourth top sector in the United States. Dini revealed that 92 percent of the associations and civil institutions in the kingdom are sponsored, while the foundations with expressive and professional activities are only 8 percent. Figures show that every citizen in the kingdom has 0.5 association, an average of one association for every 1,000 citizens, which is very low compared to the international average. The non-profit sector’s contribution in the non-oil revenues is only 0.3 percent compared to 1-12 percent in the developed countries, where it is considered a national sector.

Dini said employees of the non-profit sector represent 0.6 percent of the total workforce in the kingdom.

The deputy minister also tackled the enhancement of the non-profit sector in the national transformation plan of Vision 2030. Those enhancements include regulations and incentive legislations, data, information, surveys, and statistics that help in decision making, a supporting and information technology infrastructure, human resources, coordination and integration, social support and volunteering work, financial resources, protection and governance that organize the work of associations and institutions.

During the session which saw a significant participation, he said the ministry aims to raise the contribution of the non-profit sector to 5 percent by 2030. He stressed the ministry’s efforts in pushing toward the fulfillment of this goal and the high numbers it reached.

The deputy minister listed the fields in which the associations and civil institutions operate, including professional, cultural, sports, and medical associations.

Dini explained means to encourage volunteering and to enhance the foundation of companies of social responsibilities, through companies’ logistic support by providing office surfaces, programs of support, volunteering of employees with great skills in social works, social contribution by providing the main services in communities.

Ali al-Matiri, the director of the central communication in the King Khalid Foundation, spoke about the foundation’s experience in enhancing the profit sector to achieve more growth.