Aramco apprentices roll up their sleeves for food charity
More than 100 volunteers team up to help bring groceries to those in need.
More than 100 volunteers from the company’s apprenticeship program around the Kingdom have teamed up with local charities to pack nutritious meals and healthy grocery parcels for people in need.
Between April 25 and May 6, 136 participants in the Apprenticeship Program for Non-Employees (APNE) as well as Industrial Training Department (ITD) staff prepared the Ramadan food gifts, which were donated by ITD. The volunteers contributed 855 hours to the 12-day project, with more than 500 meals packaged and 350 grocery parcels distributed to beneficiaries.
I’m sure I’ll volunteer again and I recommend it to everyone.
— Heba Al Sayegh, an APNE studying at Dhahran North ITC
The volunteering project was held in association with Etaam, a charitable organization that prepares and delivers meals to the needy Kingdomwide, as well as the Radwa Women's Association Charity and the Al Ber Charitable and Social Association in Yanbu'.
Fostering community pride
Nawwaf K. Al Shareef, acting superintendent of ITD’s CR/WR Training Division, said the volunteer activities empowered apprentices to foster community pride and well-being, and helped them to develop a strong sense of social responsibility.
“We are continuing the Aramco tradition of engaging in the community,” he said. “Despite the pandemic, ITD has risen to very real challenges with well-established approaches to corporate citizenship and volunteering.”
Volunteering and OE
The volunteer program is part of the corporate Operational Excellence (OE) program, governed through OE Process 13.1 Corporate Social Responsibility.
Working with Ithra, ITD provides training to all apprentice volunteers covering orientation, proper conduct in communities, ethics, and volunteer responsibilities.
Prioritizing volunteer safety
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteerism was initially curtailed to ensure the safety of employees and apprentices. With protective protocols now in place, ITD safety advisors and COVID-19 compliance representatives briefed the volunteers in advance of their activities and worked with them on-site to ensure guidelines were followed.
“ITD apprentice volunteers remain committed to serving the needs of our community during the COVID-19 crisis while keeping safety an absolute priority,” said Ahmad S. Al Ajrafi, an industrial skills trainer and safety advisor at Dhahran North Industrial Training Center (ITC). “This means providing the appropriate coordination and support, and ensuring that the safety and security of volunteers remains paramount.”
Training center participation
The apprentice and staff volunteers were from the company’s seven ITCs in Ras Tanura, Mubarazz, Abqaiq, Dhahran, Yanbu, Jeddah, and Riyadh and the charity packages were destined for people in each city. Feedback from APNEs was positive.
“Volunteering is a valuable opportunity for whoever has the passion to help the community.”
— Mariam Al Tuwilib, an APNE studying at Dhahran North ITC
“I felt good volunteering with the Etaam charity,’ said Heba Al Sayegh, an APNE studying at Dhahran North ITC. “The more we worked, the happier we became, and everyone was so cooperative, well-organized, and helpful. I’m sure I’ll volunteer again and I recommend it to everyone.”
“Volunteering is a valuable opportunity for whoever has the passion to help the community and others,” said Mariam Al Tuwilib, also an APNE studying at Dhahran North ITC. “My volunteer journey at Etaam was an unforgettable experience. I would, of course, highly recommend it.”
Pride in Aramco’s role
Faisal bin Muhammad Al-Shushan, the CEO of Etaam, said the charity was proud of the role Aramco had played in the field of social responsibility. “We are working on concluding effective alliances with the private sector with the aim of preserving specialization in the food field and providing appropriate support to families with limited incomes,” he said.
In previous years, the volunteers delivered the parcels but did not this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. All volunteers wore gloves and masks and were spread out in the facilities to perform their work in a safe manner.
Practicing Diversity and Inclusion
Aramco APNE volunteers help their communities become more diverse and inclusive by demonstrating equality through close cooperation with their fellow female volunteers and female counterparts in charitable organizations. Volunteering puts diversity and inclusion into action as participating groups collaborate to offer support, resources and services to their communities.
Supporting Aramco’s Image and Promoting the APNE Program
APNE volunteers strengthen the company’s image by showcasing Aramco values to their communities, including Safety, Citizenship, Accountability, Excellence and Integrity. As these young men and women go into their communities wearing Aramco apprenticeship uniforms, they build pride, trust and appreciation. They also inspire new generations of youth to consider becoming Aramco apprentices in the future.