RIYADH: A group of seven winners have been awarded a prestigious Saudi accolade for their excellence in social work during the coronavirus pandemic.
The winners of the Princess Seetah bint Abdul Aziz Award, selected from 404 applications, received their honors during a socially distanced virtual ceremony broadcast live via YouTube.
Each award winner delivered a short video presentation explaining their social work initiatives over the last year and how they were able to provide aid to people throughout the Kingdom suffering the financial, health, and social effects of the global virus outbreak.
Held in the luxury surroundings of the Prince Sultan Grand Hall at Al-Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh, the awards ceremony and celebratory lunch was restricted to just winners and their main contributors due to COVID-19 precautionary measures.
Secretary-general of the social work awards, Fahad Al-Maghlouth, said: “There is room for hope and giving, and today we celebrate to honor the winners of the Princess Seetah bint Abdul Aziz Award for excellence in social work in its eighth session, and we have the right to be proud of them.”
The theme of this year’s awards was “social work in the face of crises and dangers,” and winners were congratulated by Prince Turki bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Saud, Ahmed Al-Rajhi, the chairman of the board of the Princess Seetah Foundation and Saudi minister of human resources and social development, and Al-Maghlouth.
Al-Rajhi said: “Our dear country has remained proud with its advanced developmental achievements and its sincere and honorable humanitarian stances when difficulties intensify, challenges emerge, and tribulations besiege us, despite all the difficult circumstances the world has experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This country, by the grace of God, and then through the efforts of our wise leadership, was a model for the concept of a strong state with its ambitions, ready for crises with all its energies, prepared in terms of the readiness of its infrastructures, support for the people on its land and everywhere. Do we not have the right to feel proud and pride?”
The minister also highlighted the Saudi green project that aims to invest in promoting quality of life and support for those in need.
“The project targets remote areas and needy families, and works on development, training, and support in accordance with specific environmental programs throughout the year in coordination with the relevant authorities … to improve social conditions and environmental living for citizens and families to help them lead a decent and productive life.”
The program titled, “The Green Project: Together to Support Green Saudi Arabia” assists in career development, year-round training, city development, and environmental growth.
Addressing the awards ceremony, Al-Rajhi noted the importance of social work in contributing to the development of the Kingdom and he praised King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for making “human stability their top priority.”
Al-Maghlouth said the award winners were shining examples of the “generosity and loyalty without limits” shown by the nation, adding that “the most amazing achievements are when they carry human touches that rejoice hearts and draw smiles and inspire optimism and confirm the depth of cohesion between the sons of the nation and its leadership.”
Following the speeches, a video presentation documented some of the health, bereavement, and financial challenges being faced by the world from the COVID-19 pandemic and how collaborative schemes such as track-and-trace apps, humanitarian aid, and financial assistance had helped to ease hardships.
The category winners were:
The excellence in national achievement award went to the health ministry’s volunteering program and education ministry’s distance learning digital platform Madrasati (my school).
The Madrasti system helped more than 5 million public and 1 million private students from 900 schools throughout the Kingdom forced to close during the pandemic.
The General Authority for Endowments scooped the excellence in Islamic endowment accolade for helping to mitigate the effects of the virus on people through its humanitarian initiatives.
The Madinah Al-Munawarah NGO was presented with the excellence in social work award for its good city initiative.
Sheikh Abdullah Ibrahim Al-Subeaei received the excellence for social work entrepreneurs honor for setting up a charitable institution and donating money to various causes in the Kingdom during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Advanced Petrochemical Co. was awarded the corporate social responsibility award for pandemic projects, and Sadara Chemical Co. for its work with the health sector in tackling COVID-19.
The late Princess Seetah bint Abdul Aziz was known for her generosity and compassion toward those in need, running numerous social assistance programs.