Arab News –  A UN official expressed surprise over the absence of Saudi youths in volunteer programs of the United Nations at a time when more than 8 percent of Arab youths participate in volunteer work with the UN.
Ibrahim Hasan, the UN official, said the UN program for volunteers intends to establish a regional office in the Kingdom for the implementation of such volunteer activities and programs, and to coordinate with other Saudi and Arab organizations working in the field.
The UN official was speaking at a press conference held on the sideline of Al-Sharqia volunteers meeting in Dammam.
“Saudi youths have had an outstanding and significant role on the ground in many situations; they are the most organized at the Arab level. Here at the UN we were surprised at the progressive and unconventional vision of the Saudi volunteers, so we took it upon ourselves to join hands toward building an infrastructure for leadership in volunteer work in the Arab world and the Kingdom to help in implementing development projects for establishing peace and security,” said Hasan.
He guessed that the absence of Gulf youths from volunteer work is because they do not differentiate between volunteering and charity, and the Gulf family has fears of letting their sons work in other areas of the world. He suggested the establishment of research centers for volunteer work in the Arab world.
Najeeb Al-Zamil, chairman of the Saudi Volunteer Work Organization announced during the conference that the organization is preparing to launch the Saudi Volunteer Award sponsored by Prince Saud bin Naif, the Eastern Province governor and honorary president of the award.
“Such an award will push volunteer work forward through its six branches,” he said, adding that the prize under UN auspices will add value to it.


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